Beauty & Style Skin

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    I have a beauty secret and her name is Olivia. Olivia is not my beautician. She is not my hairdresser. She is my daughter.

    Ever since she first learned to talk, Olivia has made me feel beautiful.

    “My mommy’s pretty!” she would say to everyone from the grocery store clerk to the mail carrier to friends and family members who came to visit.

    My gut reaction was to shrug off her praises with comments like “Oh, please! With these wrinkles!” or “Not with this flabby belly/blotchy skin/or other defect only I can see.”

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    Okay, so this is how it works, right? You apply sunscreen everywhere the sun could possibly reach you, then you go out into the sunshine, and then you enjoy your day without getting burned. Simple formula, right? So why are so many of us still getting burned? It's not that difficult. And yet! Look at all the painful ways people get sunscreen terribly, horribly, excruciatingly wrong. OUCH!

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    I am cuckoo for coconut. I do love the flavor, but more to the point: I love the smell, and I loooooove coconut-scented beauty products! They're great in the summer because they're so summery, and they're great in the winter because ... they're so summery!

    As a true coco-NUT, I have tried dozens (hundreds?!) of coconut beauty products, and these are some of my all-time favorites. And they're all really affordable, too!

    Do you like the smell of coconut and do you have any favorite beauty products to add to the list?

    Image via peddhapati/Flickr

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    There are some very good reasons why you'd want to get a spray tan instead of a sun tan. Cancer, for starters. Why risk skin cancer when you can get the same effect with just a brief visit to a salon? Well ... almost the same effect. If everything goes perfectly. And you remember not to wear those little booties. And you remember to take off your watch. And -- wow, there's a lot of things that can go colossally wrong when you fake 'n' bake. Don't commit these spray tan fails. (But do laugh at them -- shh, we won't tell!)

    More From The Stir: 2 Fixes for Embarrassing Fake Tanning Mishaps

    Do you ever tan at a salon or use self tanner at home?

    Image ©iStock.com/gilaxia

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    Summer is in full blast and we're in for a world of pain. No seriously, when I think of July and August, my feet hurt preemptively just picturing the blisters my sandals will give me. I can feel the prickly heat breaking out on my arms. I know what my mascara will look like as it slowly creeps down my face (why not just apply it directly to my jaw and save myself the trouble?). And I can feel the beach sand itching you-know-where. Help!

    We need some remedies! Here are 9 of our least favorite summer beauty fails and how you can prevent and treat them.

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    Lately I've been sneaking into the bathroom late at night to try out a new beauty ritual: Dry brushing. It's exactly what it sounds like -- you're brushing your skin with a dry brush. I've exfoliated in the shower for years, but after surviving this especially harsh winter, it was clear that I needed to try something more intensive for my dull skin. So for the past month, I've been dry brushing almost every night. And the result? Whoa ...

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    I thought one of the (few) benefits of getting older meant that I was done dealing with zits. I have never been so wrong. Now, in addition to the odd, sore, bright red pustule on my forehead, I've also got to deal with my very first wrinkles. Yeah. It's a special and disgusting time. Throw the fact that I've got exceptionally sensitive skin into the mix and you've got a truly awful cocktail of woe.

    When I was younger I tried every over-the-counter skin treatment imaginable. I even visited a dermatologist for prescription pills and creams. Eventually, I discovered a regime that worked for me. It's still the one I use now. It mostly keeps my skin in order. But when I do have a breakout, I prefer to use these 5 all-natural at-home acne remedies. They are cheaper and totally effective.

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    As new moms, we deserve to spend a million dollars on ourselves. We carried a baby for almost 10 months, gave birth, and continue to lose nights of sleep -- and even our hair! -- for months after delivery. But the reality is that diapers and baby gear (not to mention college tuition) are pretty darn expensive, so we don't quite have that luxury.

    Okay. So maybe this isn't the ideal time to buy the Gucci bag that makes your heart sing. Doesn't mean you can't stock up on some new mom necessities that won't break the bank and WILL keep you looking and feeling fantastic when you're running on 20 minutes of sleep.

    More From The Stir: 7 Expensive Hairstyling Tools That Are Really Worth the Money

    You're pressed for time, going through all kinds of hormonal nonsense, and strapped for cash. We know. And we've got you covered. Here are 10 "splurges" under $35 that are tailor-made for new mommies.

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    Getting laser treatments on my lip was, quite possibly, the best beauty decision I've ever made.

    I am just not the kind of girl that likes to sit in a salon for hours a week. Who has time for that? I work. I have two kids. Manicures mostly get done at home out of sheer necessity. But the one thing I could not do myself was safely, painlessly, and efficiently remove the hair from my lip. Come on, people with dark hair -- I know you feel me on this one. I tried waxing but it burned my skin. I tried threading but it hurt like hell. I tried shaving and, well, that was a joy! But I risked in-grown hairs and there was just something about not wanting my daughter to see me shave that pushed me forward to finding a more permanent solution. Hallelujah for laser treatments.

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    Whenever I'm in a hotel, I can be counted on to spend a good amount of time in the bathroom. Why? So I can take advantage of the great mirrors and lighting to inspect, poke, and prod my pores like a crazy person, of course!

    If you're like me and are constantly on the lookout for smaller pores and smoother skin, rejoice. I've got some products you'll love, from cleanser to primer. Happy inspecting!

     

    Image via CalilSouza/Flickr

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