10 Foods You Should Be Eating To Banish Dry Skin

The best advice I have ever been given for dealing with dry skin is to treat it from the inside. This means keeping myself hydrated and eating a diet with plenty of antioxidants and healthy fats. I don’t know about you, but eating and drinking my way to glowing skin sounds like the ideal way to go!


When dealing with dry skin you can’t be afraid to eat a little bit of fat. Healthy fats act as an internal moisturizer, keeping your skin healthier for longer. You don’t have to feel guilty about indulging in these foods because you’re doing your body a favor! 

Your diet choices play a bigger part in your skin’s condition than any of the skincare products you’re buying. The right food choices can potentially give you that glow you’re trying to achieve. They can also help you get rid of any flaky dry skin for good. Eat well, and you can save yourself money on skincare products. 

If you want to say goodbye to dry skin issues make sure you incorporate the following 10 things into your regular diet:

1. Fish

Eating foods rich in omega 3 fats is your best defense against dry skin. Fish and other seafood (especially oysters) are one of the best choices when it comes to banishing dry skin. Fattier fishes (such as salmon) are loaded with omega 3 acids and zinc, making them the ideal choice.

2. Olive Oil

Olive oil can be used internally and externally when it comes to skincare. It’s a great choice for an all-natural moisturizer because it does not cause breakouts. It’s also very easy to work into your diet because it’s great to cook with, but can also be used on top of salads or as a butter replacement.

3. Cucumber

Staying hydrated is a must if you want your skin to remain healthy. That’s easy to do when snacking on cucumber because they are 90% water. They are also rich in vitamins A and C too!


4. Nuts & Seeds

Nuts and seeds are rich in vitamin E, which hydrates the skin and also protects it from pollutants and other damages.

5. Eggs

Eggs are a great source of protein. The egg yolks are an excellent source of fatty acids and vitamin A, which is important for keeping your skin nourished.

6. Sweet Potato

Sweet potatoes are always a good choice when planning a meal. These babies are loaded with vitamins and beta carotene, which is great for fighting that rough scaly skin that happens during winter.

7. Avocado

Here is another excellent example of healthy fat. Eating avocados is the healthiest, and vegan-friendly, way to nourish your skin from the inside. Avocados are rich in vitamin E and C as well, making them one of the best food choices on this list for banishing dry skin.

8. Carrots

On top of being a good source of beta carotene and vitamin C, carrots ate also packed full of potassium. Eating carrots regularly helps your skin retain moisture, making them the perfect winter dinner vegetable.

9. Coconut

Coconuts are a high source of fat, so you know these guys will nourish your skin like no other. They are also loaded with zinc, magnesium, and a lot of other vitamins.

10. Green Tea

Green tea is a great way to flush out toxins. It is also a great anti-inflammatory, which can help soothe your skin from swelling, redness, and irritation.

 

Don’t let dry skin get you down this winter. Make sure you add these 10 food items to your grocery list to keep a healthy glow all winter long. Be sure to check out my other post Winter Skin Care Tips For Dry Skin to stay nourished all season long.

Winter Skin Care Tips For Dry Skin

I have to admit it, I kind of like winter. Tea tastes better, fireplaces are oh so cozy, and surprise snow days give me a break from the office. The thing I hate about winter is what it does to my skin. I have dry skin, and this time of year can be a complete nightmare if I don’t treat it right.


If I treat my skin the same way I do during the other seasons, I become an itchy, flaky, irritated mess. It’s a situation that even the best creams can’t always fix.

Dealing with dry skin in the winter doesn’t mean you have to run your bank account dry with expensive creams. It also doesn’t mean hours of grooming and self care to keep your skin glowing.

Today I’m going to share some of my personal favourite skin care tips to battle dry skin during those bitter cold months. The following post includes affiliate links.

Start From The Inside
This is the most important step to fighting dry skin in the winter time. If you want your skin to stay hydrated you have to keep yourself hydrated as well. It’s easy to slip up and swap your water for a coffee on these chilly days. If you let it happen too often your skin will tell you.

Try to incorporate healthy fats into your daily diet as well. Putting baby oil (or similar oil) on your skin makes it nice and soft. Eating foods with healthy fats and oils has a similar effect, but from the inside. Foods such as fish, eggs, avocado, nuts and seeds are all great choices for healthy skin.

Foods that are rich in vitamins and antioxidants help keep your skin glowing as well, so don’t skip your fruits and veggies either!

How You Treat Your Face
Skip the harsh cleansers during winter months and go easy on the toner. Trying too hard to maintain clear skin can often leave you with flaky skin. Look for a gentle face wash, or even a moisturizing bar soap. Instead of using toner, try rosewater. It works just as well, without drying your skin out.

When choosing a moisturizer for your face try to avoid using one with a fragrance. If you find that a moisturizer just doesn’t cut it, go for a facial oil. I have been using a honeysuckle oil this winter and am no longer dealing with a flaky forehead.

 
Treat yourself to a face mask, but keep it natural. They are a gentle way to clean and hydrate your skin, giving you a natural glow. In a previous post of mine 15 Natural Ingredients For Flawless Skin I mention some items you probably already have in your kitchen to get you started. My favourite are honey masks. These aren’t only for your face, you can use these masks wherever your problem areas are. (External use only)

Aloe Vera Is Your New BFF
Whether you take it internally or externally, if you have dry skin you’re destined to fall in love with aloe vera. Aloe vera juice is amazing for keeping your skin healthy, and it tastes pretty good too! When I wash my face before bed I like to moisturize it with aloe vera gel. It will hydrate your skin without the worries of breakouts. I prefer to use aloe on my face before bed because it takes a little bit longer to dry than an oil or lotion. If you wear makeup this doesn’t work for a morning moisturizer.

What’s In Your Bath?
A nice soak in the tub can be an amazing and relaxing way to soften your skin. Bath bombs can work like magic if you get the right ones. Check the ingredients to make sure the ones you are using are made with natural oils and aren’t full of chemicals that will dry your skin out even more. If bath bombs aren’t your thing simply just add a few tablespoons of coconut or baby oil into your bath and relax. You will feel silky smooth in about half an hour. Just make sure you clean that tub up after so nobody slips in there.

Buttermilk Soak
This is one of my favourite ways to hydrate my hands and feet. I buy buttermilk powder from Amazon and mix it with warm water until it has a similar texture to coffee cream. Add in a few drops of peppermint oil and soak for 15-30 mins. Rinse off, moisturize, and your hands/feet will feel (and look) so much better!

Other Tips
– Moisturize after every wash
– Wear sunscreen if you go or for a walk. The cold doesn’t block the sun.
– Don’t use exfoliants more than once a week
– Always put on lip balm before exposure to freezing temperatures.
– If you have a particular problem area on your body rub petroleum jellycoconut or olive oil on it and cover it with saran wrap overnight.

Don’t let dry skin ruin your winters. We have enough to worry about between snowstorms and icy roads, we don’t need to worry about dry skin as well. Follow these tips so your winter skin care worries are a thing of the past.

What are some of your go-to winter skin care products? Let me know in the comments below.

6 Simple Tricks To Make Your Home Smell Amazing

I can make a pretty safe bet that if you are no longer a rebellious teenager living with your parents than you probably have no desire to sit around a messy room. Even though I am not always the tidiest person, I still strive to keep my home in a liveable condition. I also love to have scented candles and sprays to keep my house smelling good at all times. The only trouble with those is that they can be costly and contain chemicals that can be harsh for some people’s lungs.

According to Statista the average Canadian works 35-40 hours per week. On top of that a lot of people have some sort of side hustle going on to make ends meet, a family to take care of, or even extra classes in the evening.  Any of these situations could be yours and you may not have the time to keep the house as organized as you want.

Now we may not have the time to keep our house perfectly tidy, but there’s no excuse for having a stinky home. Nobody wants to come home after working all day to a place that smells awful.

Today I am going to share some simple tricks with you guys for keeping your house smelling good, ones so simple you’ll be able to keep up with them even during your busiest days.

Tip #1:

To keep things simple, I will start with the easiest tip that you won’t need to buy any supplies for. All the air fresheners and scented candles won’t do a bit of good if you do not allow a cross breeze in your home. Think about all the sweating and farting that goes on inside your home.

As natural as it is, let’s face it-it stinks. If you don’t air those rooms out the stench will just linger. Just cracking a window open will only help slightly. A cross breeze is the most effective way to air those smells out. So make sure you open up all of your windows and keep the doors to your bedrooms and spare rooms open. This makes it easier for air to flow through. Opening all the windows but then deciding to hang out in your bedroom with the door closed will defeat the whole purpose.

Tip #2:

For this next tip all you will need is a cotton ball and your favourite essential oil. Place a few drops (5 or 6) of oil onto the cotton ball and let it soak up. These are great because they are small enough to stay hidden. I usually place one in the bottom of my trash can to keep it smelling on the pleasant side.

These little beauties can be placed anywhere you’d like because they are very easy to keep out of sight. Put them inside drawers to keep your clothes smelling good, or even on top of the shelves in your closet.

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Tip #3:

Keeping with the essential oil theme, for this next one you will need a standing fan, scented oil of choice and a piece of tissue. All you need to do it put a few drops of oil on the tissue and tape the tissue to the front of your fan. The fan will blow the scent into your room. It’s a safer option than a candle as well.
Tip #4:

Fabric spray is a simple and amazing solution to get those hard to wash items smelling good. Most fabric sprays deodorize your items, doing a little more than just covering up a mess with a nice scent. 
This is the quickest and easiest way to trick people into thinking you’re an amazing housekeeper. Spray your curtains, cushions, rugs ect.

A few minutes of effort really goes a long way with this one.

Tip #5:

Having a bouquet of flowers in your home not only looks pretty, but also helps the room you put them in smell really good. During the summer months there are so many wild flowers growing around, so I like to make my own bouquets. To add a little oomph factor to my bouquets I will put a stem or two of fresh herbs in them. It makes a nice touch and smells fantastic.
My favourite herbs to use are lavender, sage and basil. They all have a strong aroma to them and mix really well with other scents.

Tip #6:

Do you ever notice that the entrance area to your home sometimes gets a bit of a funky smell to it? This could be coming from your shoe rack (or wherever you keep your shoes). Add some peppermint tea to your shopping list and place the teabags in your shoes overnight so they can smell minty fresh.

The peppermint teabag trick isn’t limited to just your shoes though. You can also keep them in your gym bag, sock drawer, or car to keep things smelling good. It is such an easy way to freshen up some of your not so fresh smelling gear.  

Don’t you love it when you’re able to find an easy (and hella affordable) solution to work with. Save these tips for next time you’re cleaning up and keep your living space smelling amazing at all times.

Do you have a favourite blend of essential oils? Let me know in the comments below.

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The No Makeup Challenge

One night, a few weeks ago, I stayed up way past my bedtime binge-watching The Good Place (Netflix, if you see this we’re ready for 3rd season already!). Needless to say, the next morning I was not ready to wake up when my alarm went off. Late nights have never treated me well, I feel out of sorts the next day if I don’t get an adequate amount of sleep. Some people are able to get by on 4 hours of sleep and function at a normal pace. I am most definitely not one of those people.

Every morning when I wake up, before I start getting ready I have a cup of coffee and check my phone to catch up on current events. That’s my pre-morning preparation break and it’s mandatory if you expect me to function at work for the day. 
So that particular morning I was not up for moving. I had my coffee and sat there thinking “nope, not in the mood today.” That was the morning I made the decision to skip out on my usual makeup routine and sit back with an extra cup of java.
The following day I woke up feeling extra hungry. I mean I could have eaten an entire order of pizza and garlic bread to myself style hungry. So that day I decided to skip out on my makeup routine and make myself a big hearty breakfast instead. I sat down, ate my breakfast and caught up on some reading. It felt really good to do that and not feel rushed. This is when I came up with an idea. I decided at that moment I was going to do a 2 Week No Makeup Challenge.
Yes, that’s right. Two whole weeks- no mascara, no highlighter and NO…no purple lipstick. Oh the horror! I can picture Kylie Jenner going into cardiac arrest at the idea of this challenge. 
The rules of this challenge are simple. I go bare face everyday and jot down how this experiment affects my lifestyle. 
Why?
You might be wondering why I decided to do this challenge. I love cosmetics, there’s something about that black line across my eyelid and the extra shimmer on my cheekbones that makes me feel glamorous. I know it’s the obvious Basic Betty’s resoning, but I feel good when I look good. 
I really wanted to get down to the bottom of why I thought that way though. To be fair I am beyond bored of “pretty” being the first word that comes to mind when someone is thinking of something positive to say about me. If you really think about it a face is just something you are born with, it’s not something you have achieved. I would much rather be known for who I am than what I look like. Intelligent, witty, creative, kind…these are just some of the words I find more important to be known as than “looking good”. 
My First Thoughts on the Challenge
Honestly I didn’t think I would last. I really hate my natural eyebrows (or lack of them) and thought nobody would recognize me without them coloured in. My skin is flawed and blotchy so I wasn’t sure if this was how I wanted to present myself to the world. In all fairness I usually only left the house makeup free if I were sick or incredibly late. My bare face was usually a sign to people that I wasn’t ready for what the day was about to throw my way. 
Makeup vs No Makeup
One thing I definitely did not do was take many pictures. I am not much of a photographer. I tend to live in the moment and forget to capture it. I felt like maybe I took less pictures with a bare face because I put no effort into it. When I wear makeup I usually spend a good 30-45 minutes on my routine. That right there is probably why I took more pictures, because why put in all that work if I can’t show the face off. (Yes, I cringed at how shallow that sounded in case you were wondering. I had to be honest though.) Here are a couple pictures just to show you the difference. 
In this picture I am full face with my signature purple lipstick. 
Here I am makeup free, looking a little paler but spending some quality time with my cuddle buddy.
How Did This Challenge Affect:
My Mood
While doing this challenge I originally expected that I would feel very insecure about myself. The results ended up being the opposite. I had extra time every morning before work. I felt less rushed which ultimately put me in a better mood for the rest of the day. 
My Job
I work in an office so it is important that I come to work prepared and presentable. If you are wondering how this experiment affected my job let me tell you this, it didn’t. Literally nobody that I worked with noticed or cared. Turns out that I was the only person who cared if I left the house with or without makeup on. Not a single person treated me any differently than they did when I wear makeup. Despite not wearing my usual look, I still felt confident with in my performance at work. I always thought looking my best and feeling confident went together but this experiment proved I was wrong on that theory. I didn’t feel any hesitation on presenting an idea or meeting new clients. 
My Relationship
Here’s a shocker. It didn’t! It didn’t phase my partner at all. It could be because he’s more into me than my face. Simple as that. 

My Skin
This was honestly the best thing I could have done for my skin. I have dry skin and am prone to breakouts. Since I didn’t have a face full of product to clean off everyday I was actually able to cut down on the amount of products I was using to keep my skin fresh. Since it got to the point where I wasn’t using cleanser as frequently my skin was naturally softer and smoother. Even though they make plenty of products to clean the makeup off off your skin doesn’t mean that it is good for your skin to be using them frequently. I think my pores really appreciated the break, it didn’t take long for my blackheads and breakouts to clear up. My skin isn’t perfect but it does feel a million times better. When the challenge was done and I did put on makeup again my face was so much smoother and brighter so the makeup ended up looking 10 times better than it normally did. It encouraged me to take makeup free days more frequently.
What I Learned
Cosmetics can be a lot of fun. Getting dolled up and looking like a movie star can actually feel pretty amazing. What isn’t amazing is being hesitant to be seen without a face full of product. If you are feeling insecure to ever be seen without any makeup on it’s time to sit back and really think about why. 
Striving to be the most attractive person in the room is pointless. At the end of the day people will remember who was the funniest, the bravest, the kindest. They remember who had something interesting to say and who was there for them when they needed a shoulder to cry on. Nobody remembers who was the best looking. So if I run into an old acquaintance while I am out running errands there’s no need to hide my undone face in shame. No makeup doesn’t mean not put together, it means too busy enjoying life to care!

I will still continue to wear makeup but I no longer feel like I rely on it to express myself. Being confident in my own skin will continue to be my number 1 priority. 

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Why You Need To Start A Herb Garden This Summer

With the beginning of planting season just around the corner I have been thinking about expanding the herb section of my garden. Herb plants can be a beautiful addition to your garden, but there are so many other reasons you should be planting some this year.

In my last post, Everything I Learned My First Year Growing Vegetables , we went over some great advice for starting up your first vegetable garden. Herbs are wonderful because if you do not have the space to grow plants outdoors all you need is a little bit of room on the counter (or table, shelf, ect.) in a spot that gets adequate sunlight. I grew a potted basil plant last spring in my dining room, amongst other herbs that I planted outdoors (sage, chives, and mint).

Herbs are often a lot simpler to grow than vegetables. This makes them a better choice for a beginner gardener who isn’t quite sure how green their thumb is. Vegetables can be big commitment, so if you’re not quite ready for them herbs are better option to begin with. 

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Whether you are a beginner or a gardening expert, starting a herb garden (or even just a herb plant) should be something that’s on your spring/summer to-do list. Today I am going to go over some of the reasons why you need one. 
Better Meals
If you haven’t been cooking with fresh herbs you are in for a treat. They add so much flavour and a little really goes a long way. Improve the taste of your dips, marinades, salads, sandwiches, potatoes, sauces ect. with fresh spices. I mean, why add dehydrated oregano to your pizza when you could be grabbing the fresh stuff from your backyard (or kitchen window…wherever your herbs are growing!)
Save Money  
Ok, I understand not cooking with fresh herbs because of the price at the supermarket. Since a little goes a long way, the ones bought from the supermarket often start to go bad before they can be used up. The price of seeds is much less money, and you get way more herb for your dollar. With herb plants you just cut what you need so they stay fresh for longer. Even the pre-started herb plants at the local garden center are quite affordable as well. Do your research on which herbs you choose because many of them are perennial plants, which means they will come back every year. Who wouldn’t want fresh herbs to come back every summer? 
Health Benefits 
These little babies are packed full of vitamins and antioxidants. (Each herb has it’s own benefits that varies from the next) Tasty and healthy, sign me up!

Simplicity

I mentioned earlier that herbs are much easier to grow than vegetables. They are low maintenance which makes them a breeze for newbies and people who have had bad luck with growing things in the past. If you’re looking for an educational activity or experiment for your children this summer than growing a herb plant might be a good place to start.

If you don’t have space to grow a garden outside, herbs can be grown indoors as long as you have a spot where they can catch a bit of sunlight. Make sure they are planted in a pot that is big enough for their roots to grow so the plant can grow to it’s full potential. It is also important to make sure the pot drains properly. 
Perennials
Perennial plants are the best kind of plants because you put in the hard work one summer and then they continue to come back every year afterwards with very little work involved. I love a low maintenance plant! The following herbs are what you should plant if you’re looking for perennial plants:
  • French tarragon 
  • Sage
  • Mint
  • Chives
  • Thyme
  • Oregano 
  • Rosemary
  • Lavender 
Now that I have you convinced, which herbs do you plan on planting this season? Let me know in the comments below! 

Everything I Learned My First Year Growing Vegetables

Last year my boyfriend and I started the year off by moving out of a small apartment into our first home. We were faced with so many projects to make this place our own, and once spring arrived the one I was most excited about was making my own vegetable garden. The idea of growing my own food fascinated me. At that point in my life the only food I had ever grown was a propagated tomato plant, and I only ended up with 3 tomatoes on that plant! I wouldn’t say that counts, even though it was better than nothing.

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I wanted to start my plants from seed so I could learn as much as possible about the whole process. Planting from seed is a lot more affordable than buying pre-started plants from a garden center. I don’t discourage checking out what your local garden center has though. They often sell pre-started plants which you may not have found seeds for.
 I had a lot of success during my first year, but also a few flops. I learned a lot from those flops so hopefully this information will help you out so you don’t make those mistakes.

One of the first things you should do when planning your vegetable garden is to figure out how much space you have available. Once you have this figured out it will be easier for you to make your desicion on which plants you want to grow. When you decide which plants you want make sure you do your research and find out how much space each individual plant needs to grow. A huge mistake I made from the beginning was not taking into consideration how much space my plants needed so my garden was crowded in certain areas. The plants in that area were not able to grow to their full potential and I ended up losing out on some crops that could have been.

Each plant you choose will have different requirements to grow properly so it’s really important you do some research on each one before you begin. Be prepared for how tall and wide the plant is expected to grow, how much sun and water it needs, how long it takes to grow, ect. I went out of pure excitement last summer and ended up planting a tomato plant in front of a cucumber plant. I had tons of tomatoes on my tall plant but only grew 2 cucumbers on the short vine. If I had reversed where I planted them then they both would have gotten the proper amount of sun and I would have gotten more cucumbers. The photo below shows a tall tomato plant I grew and that little vine behind it was my cucumber. What was I thinking?

Some plants (such as my zucchinis and tomatoes) grew best when I started them indoors and transplanted them outside, others (lettuce and leeks) grew better when I planted the seeds directly in the ground. When you do your plant research you’ll notice that it is recommended to start certain plants indoors before planting them outside. You may be wondering how do I know when it’s time to plant outdoors? Check out the Old Farmer’s Almanac for the area you live in to find out when the expected last frost will be and the dates it recommends planting each plant outdoors. https://www.almanac.com

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When it gets close to the expected date of last frost make sure to check the upcoming weather forecasts to make sure there aren’t any days coming up that could drop in temperature. Last year I transplanted my seedlings outside after the expected last frost date and sure enough there were a few evenings where the temperature dropped below freezing and killed some of the plants. This is one of the many reasons it’s a good idea to have extra seedlings started as back up. 
You may also have some animals from your area steal your plants so it’s a good idea to have back up. One little critter kept stealing my cucumber plants. I was only able to grow one cucumber plant even though I had started off with 8 seedlings.

I read that marigolds release a scent that repels small animals, such as rabbits and squirrels, and will keep them away from your crops. I don’t think this holds up too well (unless I didn’t plant enough) but i will try it again this year because the puffy little orange and yellow flowers were cute as hell! 

If you really want to keep animals away from your crops it’s best to invest in some plant cages. If you plant a lot and don’t want to spend a lot on cages, you can always make your own with chicken wire. 
Knowing that it’s almost time to start planning out this season’s garden I have started cutting the tops off of 2 liter pop bottles (and other clear plastic bottles of a similar size) and setting them aside. I use these to cover any seed that I plant directly in the ground. This will help keep the soil warm while the seeds germinate. I also had an issue with a critter eating my kale plants as they started to fill out. I put the pop bottle over them and was able to save my kale plants. 
Don’t start all your seeds at the same time. Before I started, this was a piece of advice my father gave me. If i started all the seeds at the same time then I would have all my crops ready at the same time. Not only would that be overwhelming, but it would also result in a lot of waste since I wouldn’t be able to eat everything. So for each type of plant I wanted I planted the seeds on different dates. This gave me a steady flow of crops come harvest time.
Give your garden a good clean out before planting anything. Loosen that soil and dig out any rocks or weeds that could get in the way. Your plants need space for their roots to grow strong. This is also a good time to mix in any compost you would like to add to your soil. Items such as coffee grounds, egg shells and banana peels provide a lot of nutrients to grow healthy plants. Also make sure you have picked a stable area for your plants that gets a good amount of sunlight and is not likely to flood. If you plant anything in bins or containers make sure they are able to drain properly.
Always check your plant’s information on how long it takes to grow crops. You don’t want to harvest anything too early or too late. They won’t taste right. I had left a couple vegetables out too long and they ended up having a very bitter taste to them, not to mention the texture was just awful. 
If you’re wondering what vegetables are the best options for new gardeners, most people always have success with the following plants if they take care of them: 
  • Tomato
  • Lettuce
  • Zucchini 
  • Cabbage
  • Beans (green/yellow)
  • Peppers
  • Carrots
  • Peas
  • Kale
If it’s your first year gardening always start small. You may be excited to grow your own food and want to go big, but there is a lot to learn and you don’t want to end up with one big overwhelming mess. It’s better to start small and learn as you go. Your plants will be more successful and you can add more the following year with more experience.

I can not wrap this post up with out suggesting you also add an herb plant or two to your garden. They smell amazing and add more flavor to your meals. (They’re also very easy to grow) 
What do you plan on planting this year? Let me know in the comments below. 
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The Frosted Pineapple’s Guide To Luxury Beauty On A Dime

When it comes to cosmetics the majority of the girls I grew up with (including myself) started with those value pack bundles that come out around Christmas time in all the department stores. You know the ones I mean. For $20 you get all the goods. Every colour of eyeshadow, all those blushes, lipsticks and nail polishes. Some even came with those little sponge brushes. When I grew up they were basically every preteen girl’s beauty starter pack.


Those were fun and a great way to learn the basics of make-up dos and don’ts. That being said, the quality was just not there. You couldn’t wear that stuff for everyday makeup because it would wear off after an hour.

The next step up for most of us were the drug store brands. We were introduced to brands like Wet N Wild, Cover Girl, Revelon, Maybelline ect. These are the brands that will do the trick, but the quality just isn’t anything to get excited about. Over the years many of them have came out with certain products that are just as good as their luxury competitors, like Maybelline Fit Me foundation or Cover Girl TruNaked palettes. They’re good and all, but they are still missing that WOW factor.

Unfortunately with most drugstore brands there are more flops than wins. (There is however one beauty of drugstore brand that you guys need to try so keep reading to find out which one that is!)

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I remember the first luxury beauty product I purchased. It was a pale pink Mac lip gloss. I don’t remember the name of the shade, but I remember it smelled so much better than my usual lip products. When I put it on my lips it stayed there and it wasn’t heavy or sticky like most of the glosses I owned. 
First was my Mac lip gloss. My second was a Stila eyeshadow compact with a cream blush. That changed the eyeshadow game for me. Nothing blended like that before. After that it was settled. I won’t be happy unless I have the good stuff.

It is definitely important for our skin care routine to only use good quality cosmetics products, especially as we get older. The only issue is that it can be incredibly hard on the bank account to only shop luxury cosmetics brands. Your finances should be more important than your makeup bag so today I’m going to go over some tips and tricks to help you find the best beauty products and still have enough left over to pay your rent.

*The following post contains some affiliate links. If you like the product and follow the link it could help support this blog at no additional cost to you*

My Personal Favourite:

I’m going to start this post off with one of my favourite makeup brands. Have you heard of Colourpop? They are based in California and were founded by Seed Beauty in 2014. If Seed Beauty rings a bell with you, it’s because that’s the same company that also founded Kylie Cosmetics. 


Similar to Kylie Cosmetics, Colourpop has a large variety of long lasting liquid lipsticks with matching lip liner pencils. I love my Colourpop liquid lipsticks because they are highly pigmented but it feels very light on my lips. It also lasts for a very long time, even in between drinks. Both brands also make buttery smooth eyeshadows in beautiful shades. I am honestly torn when I think of choosing between my Kyshadow and my Coloupop palettes.

Well there is one major difference between the two companies. That is the price. Both companies offer free international shipping after spending $50 and your $50 will go a lot further with Colourpop. New customers also get $5 off. That may not sound like much, but their liquid lipsticks are $6.50 so that’s basically like getting your first one for $1.50. Check out some of my Coloupop favourites below!

The Jeffree Star Approved Drugstore Product:

If you’re familiar with Jeffree Star then you must be aware of how picky Jeffree is with cosmetics and only the best will do. That’s why it should have came as a surprise to me when Jeffree did a full face review of Elf cosmetics and gave it an amazing review. It honestly wasn’t a shock at all to me though. Elf is freaking amazing and probably one of the more afforadable drugstore brands out there. I came across them when I needed setting spray and never looked back. Their setting spray and poreless primer are essentials to my makeup bag. (Oh yeah… $8 primer and $4 setting spray! Can’t go wrong there!) This is a brand you can pick up at Walmart or your local drugstore.


Coastal Scents:

Coastal Scents is another independent US based company with a similar approach as Colourpop. For a very affordable price they deliver high quality makeup in fun bold colours. My favourite thing about brands like this is they make it easy for you to experiment. If you’re unsure of a shade but still really want to try it companies like Coastal Scents and Colourpop make it so you can afford a quality product to experiment with. If the shade wasn’t your cup of tea that’s ok, it didn’t set you back very far.

Coastal Scents will make you forget about those over priced palettes that put your bank account into overdraft. Check out some of the gorgeous shades below to get your makeup bag ready for spring. (Just click buy to be redirected to their website.)

Hot Pot - Violetville Hot Pot – Violetville
A muted purple hue with a matte finish. 


Hot Pot - Spring Fling Hot Pot – Spring Fling
A lively teal hue with a satin finish. 


Hot Pot - Champagne Orange Hot Pot – Champagne Orange
A soft, bubbly orange hue with a satin finish. 


Hot Pot - Reef Coral Hot Pot – Reef Coral
Reef Coral is characterized by a warm wash of luscious coral with a satin finish. 


They make it very affordable to build your own eyeshadow palette so you can create one specifically for your own personal sense of style. Let me just show you a few more fantastic finds from Coastalscents.com before I move on to my next budget beauty tip!

                             Jungle Roar
                                Jungle Roar

Brush Affair Collection 12 Brush Set in Minty Green
Bright Eyed Eye Brighteners - Dark
Where You Shop Matters:

If you’re looking to save money on your favourite brands then you need to start thinking about where you do your shopping. I came across this blog by the lovely Cynspo called 5 Secrets to Shopping High End Beauty on a Budget and she mentions taking a look in department stores such as Winners. The girl knows what she is talking about. I went last time I was out of town shopping and OMG! The savings on some of my favourite high end brands were outrageous! I mean $6 Two Faced Lip Gloss, $11 Nyx Lipstick bundles, $20 Verb gift set bundles and so much more. 
Department stores are more likely to have sales running than the beauty boutiques. If shopping online is your thing try looking around at sites such as  Perfumania.com because they often have great sales on some of your favourite brand names. 
Buyer Beware:

Ebay and similar sites are fun spots for finding bargains and unique treasures. That being said, if you are looking for a particular cosmetics brand these are the sites you’ll want to avoid. Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of great discounted products to buy on these pages. I am only talking about the exclusives here. If it’s a brand that can only be purchased through the company’s website then chances are the one on Ebay is most likely a copycat version. These knock off beauty products always use the cheapest ingredients which could lead to an infection. They aren’t safe and also smell really bad. If you do find the real deal on one of these sites than it is either being sold for more money or it’s used. (Yuck!!!)
Other Beauty Saving Tips:
  • Good quality brushes go a long way. They’re gentler on your palettes and use less product than the cheaper versions. Invest in good brushes to save money in the long run. 
  • Add a drop of aloe vera to your foundation. You will use less product and keep your skin from drying out.
  • Keep an eye out for gift set bundles of your favourite brand name products. They are often sold at a special price and save you money on all the products included. 
  • Check Facebook or ask your friends if anyone knows of a local person who sells homemade bath bombs. This is a great way to find a luxurious bath product for a fraction of the price. It also helps support a local business. 
  • Incorporate at least one (two is better though) makeup free day into your week. This gives your skin a chance to breathe and gives your pores a break too. Another benefit is that it helps build your self-confidence to go makeup free. This will also keep your makeup in your bag for longer saving you money in the long run.
  • Stop wasting money on makeup remover wipes. Olive oil on a cotton ball/pad will do the job. It’s safer for your skin and costs a lot less. 
  • Many cosmetics companies are starting to sell rose water. This stuff is amazing for your skin. Before spending $10-$15 on your favourite brand’s rose water, remember your local grocery store sells it for less than $3. 
I hope these tips help you find some great beauty products that fit your budget. What’s your favourite cosmetics brand? Let me know in the comments below!

Also don’t forget to use this code below to recieve an additional $5 off on Colourpop foundation.

A DIY Tutorial: Cinnamon Lip Plumping Scrub

Let’s talk about lips. Full, plump, smooth lips that can wear any lipstick colour like a second skin. I love the look of bold colourful lipstick, but if your lips aren’t perfectly smooth it will look cracked and messy. 

This can be especially tricky during the winter months. The air is colder and dryer. My water intake goes down while my coffee intake goes up. It seems like no matter how much lip balm I put on, my lips still feel dry and chapped. 
A sugar scrub is an amazing all natural (and super affordable) way to keep your lips smooth and hydrated. They scrub off all of the dead skin leaving your lips looking and feeling rejuvenated. 
There are so many different diy lip scrub recipes out there, so it did take some experimenting to find the one that stood out as my favourite. As you can see from the picture below I started off with dry dull lips that were in need of a pick me up. After the scrub (and a layer of lip balm) my lips look fuller and healthier. 
There are only 3 ingredients in this scrub, and you probably already have them in your kitchen. All three ingredients play a crucial role in the making of this lip scrub. 
Rubbing cinnamon on your lips will increase the blood flow which will result in your lips plumping naturally. 
Sugar will scrub away any dead skin that has built up on your lips leaving a smooth shiny surface. You can use brown or granulated sugar for the recipe. Either one will do the job. 
Olive oil will be needed as the base to hold the sugar and cinnamon together. It will also nourish and hydrate your lips leaving them healthy and shiny. 
Recipe:
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon 
1/2 tsp sugar (brown or granulated)
1 tsp olive oil
Mix all 3 ingredient together in a small dish. You will probably end up with more product than you need for one application. You can keep the rest covered and try to keep it in a cool dry area.
Before applying this mixture make sure you have clean dry lips. Also test the mixture out on a small area of skin to make sure you do not have a reaction to any of the ingredients. 
All you need to do is gently massage the mixture into your lips, giving extra attention to the dry spots. Don’t worry about getting this all over your face, it’s safe for your skin. I also got it all over my teeth, it tasted pretty good to be honest. 
See…I made a mess with it! You will notice a slight tingley feeling as you’re massaging the mixture. That’s the cinnamon plumping your lips. 
Once you’ve given your lips a nice little massage wipe the mixture off with a damp face cloth. It will come off easily. Apply a layer of lip balm to keep those lips moisturized.
As you can see from the pictures my lips look so much healthier after that scrub. This is something you will only need to do once a week (two times maximum). If you do it too often you will exfoliate the oils and skin cells you need away. 
If you enjoy diy beauty treatments try out an all natural face mask with some of the ingredients from one of my other posts 15 Natural Ingredients For Flawless Skin and don’t forget about the All Natural Pore Cleansing Scrub to get your face ready for that face mask. 
Now that your lips are ready go bold and try out that lipstick colour you’ve had your eye on. What’s your favourite shade of lipstick? Let me know in the comments below. 
*If you’re searching for a hot new lip colour check out one of the affiliate links below for some affordable and beautiful cosmetics. Your purchase can help keep this blog running.*
Yves Rocher Canada: Raspeberry Lip Balm $4.95 CAD (Available in assorted flavours)
Yves Rocher US: Coconut Lip Balm $4.95 USD (Assorted flavors available)

Morning Habits For a Productive Day

I love sleeping almost as much as I loathe the sound of my alarm clock. The temptation to hit snooze and go back to sleep until it’s time to leave for work is all too real. Why is it that my bed always feels a million times better first thing in the morning than it does at night?

I could easily lay around in bed until the last possible second. It’s way too easy, but giving myself the bare minimal amount of time to get prepared for the day is just going to stress me out. If you start the day off on the wrong foot there’s a good chance the rest of the day will follow in those footsteps.

Perfumania - America's Leading Perfumery Chain!
How you start your day off can affect your mood, attitude, and productivity for the day. So why would you want to risk starting a day off the wrong way? There are a few things you can do with in the first hour of rising that will set your day off in the right lane. 

1. Time:
It is very important that you give yourself enough time to get prepared in the morning without having to rush. The night before it’s best to plan out everything you will have to do before leaving and estimate how long it will take you to get ready. Now add an extra 20 minutes on top of that, and that is how much time you should give yourself. You never know what issue could come up so it’s always best to give yourself plenty of time so your day can start off as stress free as possible. 

2. Stretch:
This is something you want to do as soon as you get out of bed, unless you have to run to the washroom asap. Give your arms, legs and back a good stretching and get that blood flowing. 

3: Take a Break:
Yes, you just woke up and haven’t had a chance to do anything yet. You still need to take a 10-15 minute break with your go-to morning beverage and do some reading. Whether you’re catching up on some local news or one of your favourite blogs, it doesn’t matter the material as long as you’re reading something. Let yourself focus, and allow your mind to wake up before you start getting ready. 

4: Make Your Bed:
I saw a post on Facebook a while ago that talked about the importance of making your bed in the morning. The theory behind this is that it is one small task, but completing this task first thing in the morning sets you on the path for completing bigger tasks. At first I thought it sounded cheesy, but I put it to the test and it turns out to be true. The days I made my bed I was more motivated to get up and finish things and the days I skipped out I was more content to hang out on the couch and binge Netflix. 

5: Nutrition:
Your diet has such a large impact on your lifestyle. In a previous post No Sleep? No Problem. How to Stay Awake at Work I mentioned needing food choices that were rich in fiber and protein to help fuel you throughout the day. The same goes for your breakfast. Many people complain about not being hungry in the morning, yet you don’t have to eat a whole lot to get the nutrients you need to start off right. Something small like a granola bar or yogurt cup will treat your body better than nothing at all. I prefer to have a bigger breakfast and bring a small lunch with me, but it’s okay if you do the opposite as long as you get some breakfast nutrients in you before you leave. 

6: That Alarm:
So maybe this one should have been first, but I like to save the best for last. Your alarm is going to be the first sound you hear in the morning (unless you have kids or hungry pets). If you were having that dream again where you’re on a tropical island, drinking from a coconut, while Chris Hemsworth rubs suntan lotion on your back…well this is that sound that’s going to take you away from that place. To put it blankly, choose a sound that doesn’t completely piss you off. Think of a tune that is energetic, but also pleasant. I am currently waking up to The Addams Family theme song. I was worried picking out a theme song to movies I love would ruin it for me, but so far I haven’t had any issues. (I have been using this alarm for 6 months now)

These are 6 steps that don’t take up very much time, but adding them into to your daily morning routine will set you on the right path for a more productive day. I am curious what song/sound you guys use as your alarm in the morning? Let me know in the comments below!

Instagram Backdrops You Already Own

Do you ever open up Instagram and see an account showing off their shopping loot and it looks picture perfect like a page from a magazine? The perfect Instagram pic. The next time you go out shopping you remember that picture, so when you get home you arrange all your goodies on the table and take a few snaps! You take a look at your pics and all you see is a pile on the table. What gives?

I’m an introvert so I don’t have too many pictures of outings on my Instagram page. To break up the usual selfie, cats, garden photo reel that is my page I like to throw in the odd picture of objects; such as coffee/tea breaks, food, books, and things I bought that I think others might like.

As you can tell, that picture above is pretty boring. If you had no interest in the book you would keep strolling, not feeling intrigued at all.

This picture on the other hand probably did a better job at getting your attention. So what did I do that was so different? Did it take a lot of time and attention? Did it cost any extra money? The main difference here is that the book is in a well lit area, accompanied by attractive objects that don’t take away the attention, and it has a comforting backdrop.

A backdrop can make or break your picture. I recently decided to look up how to make a DIY backdrop so I had something to display my shopping hauls on and was astonished by how much was required to spend on craft supplies to make one.

If you have items you are trying to sell then it makes sense to eventually purchase the supplies to make a professional looking background. Myself on the other hand, if I just got back from Sephora or the bookstore than I can guarantee that I went over budget and will not be spending another $30 or more for something cute to lay my loot out on just to get some extra likes.

ZAFUL Mega Women Category Sale

What if I told you that you didn’t have to spend a dime to get a backdrop that will make your pics look praise worthy? It’s true, you just need to get creative and take a look around your belongings.

Once you have decided what the subject of your picture is going to be you need to figure out what kind of theme you would like your backdrop to have. (Maybe something knitted to show off your new winter socks and the book you’re going to read while curled up in them, or a pastel colour with florals to show off your new spring nail polish colours.)

Once you know what type of display you want your backdrop to have take a look around your place to see what you have that suits the colour or pattern you want to show off your subject on.

The following items are some ideas of things you could use:

  • Throw pillows
  • Decorative blankets
  • Placemats 
  • Wrapping paper
  • Patterned/textured shirts, dresses or skirts
  • Sweaters
  • Hardwood floors
  • Textured counters
  • Lace table runners
  • Patio stones
  • Floor mats/rugs
  • Foot stools
  • Bed sheets
My favourite thing to use as a backdrop are throw pillows. I have so many around my house so I feel like theres always something different to work with. The picture above of The Hypnotist was taken on a furry throw pillow.

A backdrop isn’t the only thing that makes your picture stand out. As you can tell the picture above has a backdrop but is still stuck in the Plain Jane category.

Wow, what a difference! A few items placed around your subject makes it look a lot less lonely. I added items from my beauty bag to give this book picture some girly vibes. I also made sure to have better lighting this time around. Play around with filters and effects too, each one is different and you can create some very unique content with them.
In the picture above I used a white foot stool against a gray wall to show off this haul of bath products. I played around with filters until I was able to bring out the colours of the brighter objects and darkened the wall to keep attention on the colours. It created a very eye catching effect. The photo editing app I use is called Photoshop Express, which I found in the Google Play store for free. (I should also mention that I am not affiliated with any product or service that I have mentioned or photographed in this post. I only mention them because I like the products)

When you have your items arranged on their chosen backdrop don’t worry about having the perfect shot. Just shoot a few good clear pictures and then crop the picture so it looks like your backdrop is the background that your items are sitting on.
 
For this picture of some of my favourite beauty products I used a crochet skirt for the backdrop. I cropped the picture and played around with some filters until I created something worthy for an Insta story. 
As you can see it’s easy and the possibilities are endless. Try it out and leave me the links to your pictures in the comments below.