Friday, July 1, 2016

Four Summer Skin Hazards

This post was sponsored by Hawaiian Tropic as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central. I received complimentary products to facilitate my review.

summer skin hazards
With a holiday weekend upon us, it's safe to say that many people will be floating, swimming, splashing and adventuring outdoors to celebrate this beautiful country. The 4th of July is a great time to spend time with family and friends eating, drinking and celebrating all that we have to be thankful for as Americans. You want to know what else the Fourth of July can be? A major skin hazard. Smack dab in the middle of the summer, the Fourth can often bring burns, bites and more. I'm here today to talk about four skin hazards to be cautious of this Fourth of July weekend!

Let's start with what might seem the obvious -- burns. 'Tis the season for endless beach days and bikinis and with that comes endless exposure to the sun. Making sure you are protected whether you are climbing a mountain or catching some rays is SO IMPORTANT. For ultimate protection that doesn't feel sticky or gross, I turn to Hawaiian Tropic. Specifically, their Silk Hydration Weightless Sunscreen Lotion. Containing hydrating ribbons of luxurious silk protein and Shea Butter, Hawaiian Tropic Silk Hydration Weightless Lotion Sunscreen pampers the body with a breathable formula that delivers a weightless, air-soft texture helping protect you from the sun. I like that it's SPF 30 (also available in SPF 15!) and that it moisturizes while protecting my skin.
If you plan to spend the holiday weekend outdoors, stocking up on SPF is a MUST!

I'll be totally honest with you, sometimes even the best sunscreen application leaves patches of sunburn. I'm human, too, and as much as I try my best -- these things happen! To keep my skin as moisturized as possible, I turn to Hawaiian Tropic Sheer Touch Ultra Radiance After Sun Moisturizer. First of all, it smells like fresh mangoes and, like the sunscreen mentioned above, is incredibly light. I like to put it on right after I get out of the shower, so my pores can suck up all the product. Forget waiting for twenty minutes for your lotion to dry after a shower -- this goes on smooth and dries by the time I'm ready to get dressed. Bonus feature? Special light reflecting pigments help
skin appear beautiful, radiant and glowing. Nothing I don't love about that!

Is it just me or do mosquitoes make a beeline for your body as soon as you step outside? Maybe it's just me, but if I'm not covered in bug spray before I leave the house for any sort of outdoor adventure, I will surely be covered in itchy bumps by the time I come home. Burt's Bees makes a terrific all-natural repellent and Green Bug makes a product that's safe around pets and babies! To avoid getting bit like crazy every time you are hanging around in your own yard, remove any forms of standing water. Pesky mosquitoes like to hang out here and lay their eggs -- gross!

 Spending lots of time outdoors in the beautiful sunshine can be awesome, but it's important to be prepared in order to avoid sun blisters from a terrible burn or heat rash from extended exposure. Summer is also a prime time for rashes to pop up on your body from clogged pores and sweat. To avoid these annoying ailments, change your clothes after a sweaty workout (don't sit around in them, run errands in them, etc) and bring a cover-up for extended beach or pool hours. If you do happen to suffer from a heat rash this summer, sprinkle powder containing cornstarch on it to help soothe your skin.

Whether you are hiking or enjoying a day at the beach or pool this summer, skin protection is essential! What are your tried-and-true ways to protect your skin?

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Lavender Frosting Using Essential Oils

As soon as I posted this recipe, I had people asking me -- what is culinary lavender and where do I buy it? For starters, culinary lavender is not the easiest thing to find! I buy mine at Williams-Sonoma, but it's also available on Amazon and sometimes at specialty grocers in the spices aisle. I love that fresh scent of lavender in anything so making it into icing was a no-brainer. 

Then, I had a thought. I wonder what the icing would be like if I added lavender essential oil instead? I was making a small cake for a get together with friends, so I decided to test it out and they promised to eat the cake regardless. 
essential oil frosting

As it turns out, the frosting was delicious and the entire cake was gone almost as soon as we cut it. I can't decide which recipe I like better, so it's my firm recommendation to try both ;)

Lavender Frosting With Culinary Lavender

½ cup shortening
½ cup butter, room temperature
5 cups confectioner's sugar
1 tsp. culinary lavender 

1. Combine shortening, butter and lavender. 
2. Slowly add in confectioner's sugar cup by cup.
3. Mix until well combined, frost immediately. 

Lavender Frosting with Lavender Essential Oils

½ cup shortening
½ cup butter, room temperature
5 cups confectioner's sugar
8 drops lavender oil (I use DoTerra)

1. Combine shortening, butter and oil. 
2. Slowly add in confectioner's sugar cup by cup.
3. Mix until well combined, frost immediately. 

**I also really wanted it to look purple for this particular cake, so I added 9 drops red food coloring and 9 drops blue food coloring. 

lavender essential oilI suggest frosting immediately, because this is a recipe for a crusting frosting, which means that it gets a little bit crusty, or hard. Now, that DOES NOT mean it goes bad. Wrong. It means that it's a great recipe for doing frosting designs on cakes, like these roses. Because it crusts slightly, the roses keep their shape and do not melt off. 

essential oil in food

Now, I haven't taken this idea for a test drive yet (but I plan to soon!), but I think that using lemon, orange or various other essential oils would make a delicious frosting, too! It's a great way to incorporate the oils and jam pack your frosting with flavor! 

lavender frosting essential oil

What is your go-to frosting recipe?

5 Summer Beauty Staples

 This post was sponsored by Vera Wang Fragrances as part of an Activation for Influence Central. I received complimentary products to facilitate my review.

Summer 2016 is in full swing and it's safe to say we are in the steady 80s every day here in Hawaii. I know most people probably think that it's "summer" year-round here and yes, it's definitely nice weather all year long, but we have fluctuations in heat, just like every other part of the country. In the summer it's just plain hot. Not like Arizona hot (that was heat like I've never ever experienced before)..but you know what I mean. With the change of seasons comes a change in summer beauty and summer wardrobe staples. Today, we are chatting beauty staples. Let's get started!
Summer Beauty Staples

1. A light and airy fragrance. This summer, I'm using the newest fragrance in the Vera Wang Embrace Collection, Marigold and Gardenia. In the summer months, I don't want something as bold as I do other months of year, so I often look for fruit or floral scents. Vera Wang Embrace Marigold and Gardenia is both of those things, leaving me feeling confident and beautiful.
Vera Wang Embrace Perfume
Vera Wang Embrace Marigold and Gardenia is available for purchase in-store and online at Kohl’s.

The first day I wore it, Dane even commented on my new scent, remarking that it smelled "fresh and new". Hey, I'll take it!

2. Headbands. Admittedly, I wear headbands all year long, but in the summer I find myself gravitating toward them more and more. What is better than something bright and fun?

summer headbands

Days at the beach, long runs and workouts at the gym all require something to keep my mane in place. Some of my favorites are from Target and True North Collection!

3. Sea Salt Spray. I love this one from Toni & Guy, because it fits so nicely in my purse or beach bag.

sea salt texture spray
I'm pretty lax about doing my hair in the hottest months. See above about my need for a headband! So I turn to texturising sprays instead of flat irons and curling wands. It's an easy way to get my hair to do something without all the fuss of heat tools.

4. Lip care with SPF. If I'm being honest, I am a Chapstick junkie when the hot weather rolls in. My lips need more moisture than usual and I'll turn to anything that will keep them hydrated and protected from the sun.
COOLA Liplux

This summer, I'm using COOLA which I blogged about before here. The bonus with COOLA is that it has a little tint to it all while giving SPF30 protection! In the summer my makeup routine is not heavy or over-the-top, so this little pop of color is great. The Firecracker hue is my favorite :)

5. Translucent setting powder. Let me be clear -- I am a very sweaty person. My facial makeup in the summer months consists of BB cream and lots of moisturizer, but that doesn't mean I want it melting off as soon as I step outside. For this, I turn to powder.
It Cosmetics Bye Bye Pores HD Finishing Powder
My favorites finishing powders are It Cosmetics Bye Bye Pores HD Finishing Powder (pictured here) and Ben Nye's Banana Luxury Powder. And yes, Ben Nye's magical banana powder is what Kim Kardashian uses to get her signature face looking so dang good.

And what kind of blogger would I be if I didn't offer one lucky reader the chance to win one of my staples? Influence Central is giving out ten Vera Wang Embrace fragrance collection packs, which includes all the Embrace fragrances -- Green Tea & Pear Blossom, Rose & Vanilla, Periwinkle & Iris and Marigold & Gardenia.

Now that I've shared my summer 2016 staples, what are yours? 

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