Wellness Encyclopedia: Avocados & Avocado/Honey Face Mask DIY

Wellness Encyclopedia: Avocados & Avocado/Honey Face Mask DIY

Read more about the incredible, edible avocado below, then scroll on for an easy face mask recipe you can whip up in minutes…

By now, I think most of us can agree: Avocados are awesome. Few fruits or vegetables have experienced such a dramatic PR shift over the past two decades, in fact, the rise of the avocado can only be compared to that of the “incredible, edible” egg. Once believed to be the basis of bad health, avocados spent a solid decade unfairly blacklisted from our plates. Imagine all the guacamole we were missing out on! Now, avocado toast is as commonplace in our diets as a bowl of cereal once was, and for good reason: Avocados are nutritional powerhouses. They satisfy without sugar, keep us feeling full, and best of all, the healthy fats they were once maligned for are now understood to make our skin glow and hair shine from the inside out. Today we’re celebrating these unique fruits by diving into what makes them great.

What exactly are avocados?

Botanically, the fruit of the avocado tree (aka the avocado) is a large berry with one large seed and is thought to have originated in the Tehuacan Valley in Puebla, Mexico up to 15,000 years ago. The fruit ripens on the tree, but only matures when separated, either by being harvested or dropping naturally, so plan ahead and choose hard avocados at the grocery store — these are most likely the freshest and will likely ripen after a few days on your countertop. It’s no secret that avocados have experienced a boon in popularity over the past several years (the per capita consumption in the US increased from 1 pound to 7 pounds in the span of six years) — so much so that it’s difficult to believe they were once victim to bad PR due to their high levels of healthy fats.

What are the benefits of avocados?

The low-fat diet craze of the ‘80s and ‘90s painted avocados as fat bombs akin to hamburgers and, well, anything else that featured any semblance of fat, healthy, natural, or otherwise (remember how everyone stopped eating eggs at one point? Same thing). At the time, it was thought that fat content in food equaled fat in the body, it wasn’t yet understood that different types of fats exist with different functions and different effects on the body. Trans fats and refined polyunsaturated fats? Those are the ones to avoid, most often found in processed foods, but the monounsaturated fat found in olive oil, nuts, and — you guessed it — avocados, has been found to reduce the risk of heart disease, lower cholesterol, and could even help with weight management. Rich in monounsaturated fats, avocado is thought to help regulate blood sugar levels, potentially helping to reverse insulin resistance, reduce the risk of heart disease, lower blood pressure, lower blood sugar, and reduce the risk of stroke. Avocados are also rich in fat-soluble vitamins A, E, and K, which impact metabolic function and keep skin looking healthy. The high levels of fibre present in avocados also contributes to all the benefits listed above, along with keeping the gut healthy and aiding with digestion. Avocados are one of the richest sources of protein of any fruit, with the lowest sugar content, making them ideal for smoothies and post-workout nutrition, as they won’t cause blood sugar to spike and keep you feeling full and satisfied through to your next meal.

How to I use avocados?

A better question: How don’t you use avocados? Whether applied topically as a moisturizing hair or skin mask or tossed into a smoothie, avocados lend themselves to pretty much all areas of life! Let’s start with breakfast, shall we? Toss them into the afore mentioned smoothie as a satisfying, low-sugar alternative to your usual smoothie banana. Add some avocado to a savory bowl of oats, or use a scoop of guacamole in place of cheese in your next omelette. Lunch options? Sure, you could do everyone’s favorite, avocado toast, or you could roast a sweet potato and toss some avocado on top with a bit of homemade salsa (pro tip: make your own salsa, it’ll cost you pennies per serving and is to much better). Dinner? Add some avocado to salads or in place of cheese wherever you may usually use cheese. Don’t forget dessert! Avocado is easily whipped into chocolate mousse with the addition of cocoa powder and a bit of coconut sugar. For outside nourishment, mash ripe avocado together with a few simple ingredients for a super moisturizing hair or face mask. Not sure where to start? Try the simple recipe below to rejuvenate summer-parched skin:

Avocado-Honey Face Mask

Lactic acid in yogurt gently sloughs away dead skin while avocado and honey moisturize summer-parched skin

Ingredients

¼ avocado

1 tbsp plain yogurt

1 tsp raw honey

Method

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and mix/mash together until well blended. Use a brush or your fingers to apply mixture to face, avoiding the eye area. Relax for 10-15 minutes, then rinse with cool water and pat dry. Follow up with your favorite oil or moisturizer.

+ Be sure to check out more Wellness Encyclopedia posts!

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This information is not intended to treat, diagnose or prevent any disease or issue. 
Please seek your doctor’s advice for any questions regarding a specific condition and before beginning any exercise, diet or health-related regimen.

Free People Blog

Wellness Wednesday: The Coconut Cure-All

Wellness Wednesday: The Coconut Cure-All

If you haven’t yet adopted at least one of these five tropical quick-fixes, consider embracing the benefits of coconut ASAP…

If you could only live off of one ingredient, coconut would make for a quality choice. The superfruit is packed with natural fats and nutrients that deeply nourish you from the inside out. Still, if you’re like me, you might be new to experimenting with this food-grade beauty find. Can you really slather it on your toast in the morning AND the tips of your hair? I’ll admit that concept took me a minute to get used to. But after cracking into a jar of Kiki Health’s Organic Raw Virgin Coconut Oil, I’ve become a coconut convert. For the newbies out there, here are 5 fun ways to embrace this tropical wonder.

Mix it into your smoothies.

Add a tablespoon to your go-to recipes — it’s especially great alongside slightly bitter-ish greens like spinach and alfalfa. And thanks to its high concentration of antibacterial, anti-viral lauric acid, coconut helps support your immune system. Cheers to that.

Swap it for butter.

One of the amazing things about coconut oil it how it can change states, morphing from a liquid to a creamy salve, depending on the temperature at which you store it. If you put it in the fridge, coconut oil hardens into a butter-like consistency, which makes it ideal for spreading on everything from toast to bagels.

Blend it into your coffee.

Brew your favorite cup and while it’s still hot, put in the blender along with a tablespoon of coconut oil. Combine and you’ll end up with a delicious frothy concoction that you’ll want every morning for a bit of long-lasting energy.

Drizzle it on popcorn.

Turn regular popcorn into a gourmet experience — just pour a tiny bit of melted coconut oil into a just-popped bag, shake and voila: movie popcorn like you’ve never tasted it before.

Let it cool down your skin.

After a long day at the beach or an intense workout, store your coconut oil in the fridge and scoop out a little bit to spread over your limbs. You’ll instantly rehydrate your skin and bring down your body temperature. Plus, the subtle scent doubles as your perfume.

What else makes coconut so amazing? Here’s a quick recap of its wellness benefits:

Supports immune system 

Deeply hydrates skin and hair 

Boosts energy

Promotes digestive health 

Increases nutrient absorption 

Maintains a healthy heart 

 

Free People Blog

How To Maintain Your Summer Tan Long After Beach Season Ends

How To Maintain Your Summer Tan Long After Beach Season Ends

Along with a newfound ability to “tan” comes great responsibility: to keep said tan for as long as possible…

Here’s a fun fact: My skin is virtually incapable of “being tan.” Up until about five years ago, any time I spent more than an hour in the sun, I’d come home crisp and red. Part of it was probably that I was total shit at applying sunscreen properly (stories for another day), but I also just assumed my fair, sensitive skin wasn’t cut out for friendly interactions with the sun and I resigned myself to a life of looking a lot like Snow White if she wore glasses and had ombre hair.

But then a miraculous thing happened: I started taking suncare seriously. I realized that, if I just took my time and did it with care, sunscreen was wonderful…and it worked. If I chose to stand naked in the bathroom while meticulously applying SPF to every inch of my body to make sure I didn’t miss a spot and therefore didn’t fry, who cares if it added 20 minutes to my routine? For the first time in my life, I was TAN. (“Tan” being relative here. I was as bronzed as I was ever going to healthily be and that was A-OK!)

Getting wiser about proper sunscreen and really learning about how my skin interacted with the sun has been nothing short of miraculous. Yeah, I constantly reapply SPF 50 and I have a sixth sense when it comes to finding the part of the beach that also offers shade and I will fight you for the last umbrella, but I have not looked or felt like a cooked lobster in years.

But along with this newfound ability to “tan” comes great responsibility: to keep said tan for as long as possible. There’s nothing worse than going to bed beautifully bronzed only to wake up paler than you remember, as if the color seeped out while you slept. Here’s how I help my color last longer than one glorious day.

Exfoliate.

I know, counterintuitive, right? Why would you scrub away the skin you’re trying to keep color in? But exfoliating is an important pre- and post-glow step. Before you head out, you’ll want to gently scrub away dead or thirsty surface cells to make sure your skin is smooth and ready to receive sunscreen and all that vitamin D. It will also stimulate blood flow to help remove toxins that may interfere with skin cell generation down the line.

Post-tan, you’ll still want to gently scrub your whole body about once a week. Again, you need to remove those dead cells so your skin can breathe and regenerate properly, but this step is also crucial in making sure all the moisturizer I’m about to lay down in the next step is able to sink in and get to work. Don’t go crazy here. A soft sweep of a body brush or an oil-based scrub with very small grains (like sugar) will do the trick.

Take cold showers.

This one might sound odd, but just trust me. Hot baths and showers can dehydrate your skin, which will lead to faster peeling and flaking. You don’t have to stand under a stream of icy water, but try not to turn the temperature past warm. And while you’re at it, opt for a body wash that’s infused with moisturizing oils. Not only will the oils help keep your skin hydrated, they’ll also work to trap the water from the shower in your skin for an extra dose of moisture. If you’re more of a bath person, infuse that water with oil!

Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize.

Get it? Good.

When you spend time in the sun, even if you don’t burn, your skin dries out. The heat and sunlight do a miraculous job of leaching natural moisture from your skin, so you need to make sure to replace it tenfold in the days after.

Immediately after being in the sun, drench every inch of your body in something hydrating that’s designed for after sun care. Even though you’re not red, when skin tans it technically burns, so you need to make sure you’re depositing healing nutrients into your skin right away. Since after-sun products are specifically designed with this in mind, look for products that will speed up skin recovery and have calming, soothing, hydrating ingredients.

In the following days, make sure to coat yourself in uber-hydrating products at least once a day (twice if you’re really good). A body oil will deposit essential moisture to your thirsty skin and then go a step further by locking it in with a moisturizer or cream. The latter will create a protective barrier that will keep the hydrating ingredients in your skin so they can’t escape.

Fake it.

If you’re a) not into the sun but wish you were, b) too scared of the potential to burn (I hear ya) or c) afraid of a life without a tan, my advice to you is to just fake it. That’s right, you heard me: FAKE IT.

Gone are the days of terrible self-tanner that left you streaky and orange, that smelled like a chemical factory exploded and rubbed off on all your towels and sheets, that you had to frantically wash your hands after applying or else it would get into the cracks in between your fingers and never leave. These days, DIY tans are pretty excellent and, if you take the time to use them properly, no one will be able to tell the difference between something you applied yourself or a glow you spent days working on.

The easiest way to fake a tan is with good old bronzer. Find a shade that’s one to two shades darker than your natural skin so it doesn’t look fake, and be sure to blend the crap out of it with a brush or makeup sponge. (There’s nothing worse than that very obvious line of makeup where your skin changes color in the blink of an eye.) Whether it’s a creamy formula you can apply to the high points of your face where the sun would naturally hit it for just a hint of glow, a stick you can use to contour and give some depth to your “tan,” a powder you can lightly dust in a “3” shape on both sides of your face for buildable color, or a loose, shimmer powder you can mix with face oil for an all-over wash, there’s a foolproof bronzing product out there for you.
And if you really want to commit, self-tan your whole bod. Always make sure to test new products out on a small patch of unseen skin so make sure the color jives with your skin tone and that you have control over the product, and then go to town. If you’re using a straight up self-tanning lotion, think about wearing an application mitt so it goes on smooth and even (and doesn’t leave your hands looking like they belong to an Oompa Loompa). Or go the slow and steady route with a 2-for-1, buildable tanning moisturizer.

The best part is that all of the steps I mentioned above (exfoliating, cool showers, moisturizing) are major parts of successful application and care of DIY tans, so do ‘em!

Photo by Jana Kirn.

Free People Blog

Meet the Green Beauty Brand that Started A Revolution

Meet the Green Beauty Brand that Started A Revolution

Oh hey, Juice Beauty…

To call the green beauty movement a revolution is not an understatement. In the last five years, a sophisticated fleet of botanical brands has emerged, made with clean ingredients, sustainable methods and recycled packaging. But Juice Beauty was one of the first companies to lead the way toward greener pastures and practices. Founded by Cali wellness guru Karen Behnke, the San Francisco-based company launched in 2005 — more than a decade ago, long before parabens were on everyone’s radar and going organic was as basic as breathing. Karen firmly believed in the natural, beauty-enhancing power of plants and other farm-fresh essentials, which she extracted into a potent juice that fueled her passion and original skin collection.

Now the cult-classic brand is a go-to for earth-loving notables, including Gwyneth Paltrow, who is a shareholder and creative director. Juice Beauty is also still on the forefront of new green technologies, as proven by its pretty stellar lineup of innovative skincare and SPF. Here, we take a quick look at what makes this antioxidant-infused brand so iconic, and why you’ll want all their creations:

 

At age 22, Karen Behnke started her wellness career by launching “Get Fit Aerobics,” a fitness class that she taught to members of the army and military near San Francisco.

 

Karen became pregnant with her first child; motivated to find healthy, safe beauty products, she began scrutinizing ingredient labels for the first time.

 

Karen purchased the rights to use the “Juice Beauty” name from a small brand based in Mill Valley, California, with a handful of conventional (not-so-natural) products. Alongside her husband, Karen began researching how they could create a new line using organic, botanical juices (aloe, grape) as a base, instead of water or petroleum glycol fillers.

 

Karen contacted many laboratories to find a partner. Almost all of them turned her down — no one wanted to formulate with organic juices at the time. Finally, she tracked own one laboratory that was on board with the company’s innovative mission and concept.

 

Juice Beauty officially launched! The Juice Beauty Daily Essential Collection made its debut — containing the Cleansing Milk, Green Apple Peel Full Strength, Hydrating Mist and Nutrient Moisturizer. The line was first carried in Whole Foods and Pharmaca among other boutiques.

 

JuiceBeauty.com went live!

 

Kate Hudson casually mentions that Juice Beauty is one of her favorite beauty lines in a cover story for Harper’s Bazaar, which instantly puts the up-and-coming green brand on the map.

 

The Blemish Clearing collection launches, becoming one of the first acne skincare ranges with benzoyl peroxide and a revolutionary new method to clear skin with organic fruit acids, salicylic acid, willow bark, CoQ10 and vitamin C.

 

 

A U.S. Patent is awarded to the Green Apple Peel for its unique ability to brighten and even out skin.

 

Juice Beauty enhanced all formulations under a new product development team. It’s a turning point for the brand, as an outside clinical lab confirms that the products outperform typical conventional chemical brands.

 

Growth spurt! The rapidly-expanding brand opened a new distribution center to get its botanical goods into the hands of more fans. Juice Beauty’s products get the stamp of approval from PETA and Leaping Bunny Cruelty-Free.

 

Juice Beauty turned on the lights at their new sustainable headquarters in San Rafael, California, utilizing all recycled and reused materials and furniture.

 

Gwyneth Paltrow joined Juice Beauty as a shareholder, business partner and creative director, praising the brand for being at the forefront of “making organic beauty products that work.”

 

Juice Beauty launched in Free People, spreading the feel-good message that healthy is beautiful!

Free People Blog

ENTER TO WIN Our August BEAUTY GIVEAWAY

ENTER TO WIN Our August BEAUTY GIVEAWAY

It’s back! 5 lucky winners will win… will it be you? 

In celebration of our Beauty and Wellness line turning ONE last month, we’re celebrating with a monthly Beauty GIVEAWAY! Each month five winners, chosen are random, will win a beauty box filled with our favorite beauty essentials and all YOU have to do it enter below! This month, we’re featuring products to greet fall with a fresh face…some of the best cosmetics to help you start the new season with a new YOU! Contest will run now through Monday, August 21st. Be sure to tell your friends, and don’t miss out on these beauty bundle MUST-HAVES!

This month, winners will receive: 

Ritual De Fille Inner Glow Cream Pigment

Lilah B. Tinted Lip Balm

Eyeko Black Magic Mascara

Alima Pure Smooth+Prime

RMS Beauty Lip2Cheek

Seven Seven Cosmetics Natural Glow Finishing Mist

Au Naturale Su/ Stain Lip Stain

Vapour Organic Beauty Lux Lip Conditioner

Kosas Lipstick

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

+ Be sure to check back every month for a chance to win! Looking to take home today? Shop all things beauty here

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Open to residents of the United States. Ends 8/21/17 at 11:59 p.m. ET. 

Free People Blog

Buy Now, Use Later (and Now)

Buy Now, Use Later (and Now)

You may be surprised by how much stuff is out there that will suit your summer skin needs as well as the things your skin, hair and body will crave well into the end of the year…

Listen, I know I just told you it was time to toss a bunch of your self-care and beauty products with fall in the air, but that also means you have some more space in your bathroom for new goodies. And while your brain may be telling you to focus on products made solely for cooler temperatures, you may be surprised by how much stuff is out there that will suit your summer skin needs as well as the things your skin, hair and body will crave well into the end of the year.

Without further ado, here are four things to buy now and use later…and also now.

Salt Spray

Yes, it’s mostly associated with beachy waves, and beachy waves are mostly associated with the summer and spending time frolicking on the sand, but salt spray can work wonders on fall and winter hair.

Since there isn’t as much moisture in the air during cooler months, hair is much more likely to be dehydrated, so any chance you get to retain moisture in your strands is crucial. The easiest way to do so? Don’t wash your hair as often. If you’re worried about your hair looking a little limp or lame after a day or two of not washing, simply spritz with salt spray. It’ll add oomph and texture to your locks, make a ponytail or braid look more interesting and mask greasy roots like a dry shampoo.

And if you’re a hat person, rest assured that salt spray will help un-squash hat hair while also reducing friction against your head, thereby controlling static electricity and negating that whole frizzy post-hat situation.

Aloe

Not just for sunburns! Aloe is one of the most moisturizing ingredients on the planet, so why relegate its use to only the summer months? Instead of stashing that economy sized bottle of aloe gel in the back of your closet until after your next beach trip, look for an all-over moisturizer packed with the stuff to help reconstitute dry, scratchy winter skin.

Since aloe has powerful healing abilities when it comes to the epithelial layer of skin—the cells that cover the entire body — depositing and then trapping moisture, aloe-packed moisturizer is an intense humectant.

SPF

Just because it’s cold and grey doesn’t mean the sun’s rays aren’t finding their way to your delicate skin. Don’t let the weather fool you: You should be wearing SPF on any exposed parts of your body every. Single. Day. Yes, the UV rays aren’t as strong as they are during summer, and you’re likely not lying outside baking in the sun for hours, but you still need SPF protection. One of the best ways to ensure you’re covered in the places that matter is by embracing tinted SPF moisturizer. Not only will it offer a sheer, light wash of coverage as the summer winds down (because who wants to be wearing full-coverage foundation while sweating?), it transitions beautifully into fall, gives your skin a soft glow and acts as a powerful, daily shield against the sun. Plus, if you think of it as part of your makeup routine, you kill two birds with one stone and you’re much less likely to forget to apply it.

Body scrub

You shouldn’t only be scrubbing away dead skin cells when you’re baring skin in the heat. Remember: Regularly exfoliated skin is healthy, happy skin. So yes, using a stellar body scrub during the summer will prep your legs for a closer shave and help slough away any residual dead skin you might have as result of too much time in the sun, but it’ll also prime your skin to soak up whatever moisturizer you slather on afterward to combat the hydration-sucking temperatures you’re about to face.

What’s more, people tend to overlook body skin care during the cooler months because arms, legs and chests hibernate beneath chunky knits and tights. But have you ever thrown on a sweater and been overcome by the urge to scratch your skin off? While some of that may have to do with the fabric, you have dry skin to thank for the rest. When skin loses moisture and its natural oils, it dries out. And when skin dries out, it becomes itchy as hell. You can apply moisturizer and body oils all you want to that dry skin, but if you’re not removing the dead layer first, it’s just going to sit there without sinking in. So do your skin and sweaters a favor and just exfoliate once a week in the shower. You’re welcome.

Lead photo by Jana Kirn.

Free People Blog

1, 2, 3, 4… Your Step-by-Step Skincare Layering Guide

1, 2, 3, 4… Your Step-by-Step Skincare Layering Guide

Once you know, you know…

There are certain beauty-centric questions that I hear nearly every day — the easy ones, like “what is dry shampoo ?” or “does a waterproof mascara that won’t leak onto my eyelids when I sweat even exist?” And then there are the more complex ones, like “when do I put on a serum?” and “what’s the point of double cleansing?” that really give my life meaning.

The tricky part of layering skincare is that with every expert and derm you ask, you’ll get a different answer. Instead of losing time over details that won’t wreck your face, we’ve put together a list of the can’t-miss steps to help nourish healthy skin — and the easiest order to execute them.

STEP 1: MAKE UP REMOVER

Start by removing the stickiest layers of makeup with a super-slick blend of oils (like the organic sweet almond and blue chamomile options in this one), which will keep you from tugging and scrubbing at your eyes, not to mention the rest of your features. It seems like “hey, no big deal! It’s just for a second!” until you add up all of the times you’ve done it in a week, a year, a lifetime — and subsequently lost lashes or worse, stretched delicate skin that may not just snap back like a rubber band, eventually.

STEP 2: CLEANSE

Cleansing wipes are the easiest way to get into the crevices of your face that need to be swept clean with a bit more oomph than just the soft palms of your hands. Glide one around in gentle, circular motions to get the blood flowing to the surface, which is its own mini-step toward a brighter complexion. The bamboo water and argan oil in these won’t rid your skin of essential moisture as you prepare to double cleanse.

STEP 3: DOUBLE CLEANSE

Double cleansing is easily one of the most confusing topics for beauty babes that don’t quite get what the point of an extra step is in an already tedious routine — “it looks pretty spotless already!” you’d think. But the fact is, there’s still a thin film of dirt and pollution lurking that can mysteriously end up on your pillowcase, or just creeping inside of your pores. Taking the time to double cleanse with a vitamin-rich, moisturizing wash will bring you one step further away from those tiny, pesky surface bumps that you see in a brightly lit mirror and wonder “why?”

STEP 4: EXFOLIATE

Very light-handed, consistent exfoliation is key for smooth, glowing skin, but it’s important to find a product that isn’t going to strip the natural barrier that your complexion needs for protection. The pineapple fruit extract and kaolin clay in this water-activated, superfine scrub help gently remove dead cells without drying, and can even be used as a luminizing mask when you have extra time in the tub or shower.

STEP 5: TONE

Toner is one of those products that seems so neutral, you think you can skip it — but without it, you may lose the value of each superstar product you subsequently apply to your face. Toner’s role is to balance the pH of your skin so that it’s able to properly absorb, instead of clash with, the ingredients in your skincare. Plus, the easy spray bottle packaging of this one means you don’t even need to worry about stocking up on cotton balls to use it.

STEP 6: SERUM

After all of the necessary cleansing and exfoliating, your complexion is thirsty for a drink of restorative, soothing moisture. The rose otto and geranium oils in this serum create a healing elixir for even the most sensitive skin, along with a lit-from-within glow without the grease. Tap a few drops onto your face, neck, and even eyelids while you breathe in the soft floral scent and make your next moves.

STEP 7: EYE CREAM

As we discussed in Step 1, the delicate skin around your eyes needs tender love and care, which means giving your lids their own specialized form of protection. The certified vegan, all-natural blend of botanicals in this eye cream go on in an imperceptible veil that won’t pill away when you start to apply your makeup. Tap a small pump onto top and bottom lids, basically over any area that your pool goggles would cover.

STEP 8: MOISTURIZE

Seal in your hard work with a no-brainer, multitasking moisturizer. If we’ve learned anything in the last few years, it’s that it seems that (nearly) everything fermented is packed with some kind of beauty benefit. The naturally-fermented ceremides in this cream help repair damaged skin without breaking you out. Follow with a mineral sunscreen if you’re about to head out into the bright light of day.

BONUS ROUND: SLEEP WITH A SILK EYE MASK 

I could go on and on about my love for silk, especially when it’s woven into anything that’s touching my face. Polished, pure silk fibers won’t tug on your eyes like even the smoothest cotton could, plus sleeping with an eye mask keeps you from squinting yourself to sleep, preventing crows feet and fine lines in the long run. Tinted soft pinks and caramels with non-toxic dyes, these have just enough give in their elastic to stay on through the night (plus block out the light when you want to sleep in) without feeling uncomfortably tight.

 

+Skincare 101 starts here

Free People Blog

Fall Cleaning

Fall Cleaning

What better time to tackle that bathroom cabinet…

Spring cleaning gets all the glory, but if you ask me, fall is the best season for a purge. You finally got to open your windows during spring and set foot outside without a parka and layers of wool to keep warm. Then you basked in the long, lazy days of summer. I’d bet cleaning your home and tossing things you don’t want or need was the literal last thing on your mind from April to August.

But there’s something about the first notes of fall that make me want to shut those windows halfway, dust off the cute mid-weight jackets that haven’t seen the light of day for half a year and get to cleaning. The trees are shedding their leaves so why can’t you shed some of the stuff that’s been piling up for months?

After you’re done moving bathing suits and cutoffs to the back of your closet and chunky knits and booties to the front, it’s time to tackle that bathroom cabinet. I guarantee there’s something lurking in there you definitely don’t use regularly/you definitely don’t remember owning. Rather than let it languish in the depths of your bathroom for another year, get rid of it. Seriously, nothing feels better than taking a few hours to clean and organize. After all, the more you toss, the more space you have for fun, new stuff.

First thing’s first — clean your dang brushes!

Take a look at your makeup brushes. Are they caked with layers of makeup from months of use or are they clean and shiny? If you remember to clean your brushes and tools regularly, kudos. If not, you’re like the majority of us who only remember when someone tells you to. So this is me telling you to clean those little bacteria farms.

All you need is a gentle foaming cleanser, water and your hand: Mix a few drops of the cleanser in your palm with a bit of water, then swish one brush at a time around in the mixture until it starts to foam. You’ll see the foam start to take on the color of makeup hiding in the bristles — that means it’s working. Repeat this process as many times as is necessary for that foam to stay clear or white, which means you’ve removed all the makeup. Then gently rinse the brush in warm water, swirl around a little on a clean towel to remove excess moisture, and then lay flat to dry.

And if you just can’t be bothered, invest in a new set. The bristles are breeding grounds for bacteria that can’t wait to take up residence in your pores. While you’re out it, get a new konjac sponge and loofah, and please, for the love of all that is holy, change your pillowcase.

Check expiration dates.

Now that you’re well-versed in the language of when things go bad (cough cough READ THIS cough), you know how to interpret packaging, symbols and language as far as expiration and use-by dates are concerned. If anything is past its prime, toss it.

The same thing goes for stuff you only use during the summer that won’t make it to see another solstice. If there’s a heavy-duty sunscreen you only wear at the beach and you know you won’t be headed back to the sand and waves until winter break at the earliest, get rid of it. Even though it may still be good for another month or two, you won’t actually use it before it goes bad and it’ll sit in your bathroom, forgotten. Then, months down the road when you do need a heavy duty sunscreen again, you’ll likely just grab last summer’s because it’s there — even though its active ingredients aren’t effective anymore. Save yourself the trouble of zinc oxide that won’t rub in and a killer sunburn by just throwing it out. Then you’ll know you need to replace it when the time comes and you’ll be able to pick up a fresh batch that will last you well into next summer.

When in doubt, get rid of anything you’ve had for more than a year.

Unless it’s shampoo, conditioner, or a dry product (like a clay mask you add water to), you’re better off safe than sorry. That goes for the glittery eyeshadow you bought for a theme party last fall, the deodorant you’ve had since college, the mascara you don’t remember buying that you just found under your couch and the sample of face oil you got with a purchase you made years ago. Not only will this help you free up space and declutter, but it’ll help put into perspective what you actually use regularly.

Admit you have a thing for season-specific makeup.

Far be it from me to dictate what type of makeup you wear when, but if something really screams summer (like that coverup that only matches your skin after a tropical vacation or the bronzer that makes you look crazy when you’re dead-of-winter-pale), I’d advise getting rid of it. As you know, natural and organic products have a limited shelf life and like I mentioned above, that seasonal makeup will likely go bad before you get the chance to wear it again.

Rather than be stubborn and insist on wearing a shade of makeup that doesn’t work on your skin post-summer, invest in a few products that will last you through the whole year. Find a coverup that makes sense for your skin when it’s at its least sun-kissed, then mix it with a complimentary bronzer as the seasons change. Or learn to mix a powdered bronzer with face oil for a subtle glow when you need it. More ideas here!

Embrace seasonal scents.

No, I’m not talking about that sickly-sweet pumpkin pie candle your great aunt insists on burning as soon as Labor Day rolls around. What I am talking about is the stuff that lends itself to cooler temperatures and cozier vibes. If you’ve been rocking a light floral or bright citrus scent all summer, think about switching it up with notes of musk, chai and other earthy smells. Fall is the time for cozying up and allowing smells to linger a bit longer, so you need something with more oomph.

Whether it’s a musky body oil you slather on post-shower, a rich aromatherapy oil you dab on your pulse points for a pick-me-up as the days get shorter or a smoky cinnamon-based perfume for nights out embrace the smells of the season — don’t fight the gorgeous, spicy, crispness in the air.

+ Let’s get Fall ready… Check out more articles from Allie here

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The Mani/Pedi Summer Refresh You Need Right Now

The Mani/Pedi Summer Refresh You Need Right Now

This end-of-summer ritual is everything for healthier, shinier nails…

If you started off summer with a mani/pedi, chances are you might need a refresh by now. All that exposure to sun, sand and salt water can really wear out even the most invincible of polishes. This is also the turning point of summer where you start to think about fall, and look forward to switching things up — especially on your hands and toes. “The change of seasons is the time for change in wardrobe. Nail color is not an exception to that transition,” says New York City manicurist Jessica Tong. Rather than rushing through the removal and repainting process, though, consider turning this moment into your end-of-summer ritual: break out the botanical polish remover to heal and nourish your enamel, spend an extra minute massaging in your hand cream (ahh, feels so good) and then follow this guide for an on-point mani/pedi that will carry you into September and beyond…

Give your nails a healthy start:

If you want take good care of your enamel, the first step of any manicure or pedicure is always to apply a base coat. “Discoloration of the nails is often caused by not using a base coat,” points out Tong. By forming a barrier and smoothing the surface, Tong says this step is even “more vital than a topcoat in preventing chips.”

Go for a nontoxic polish:

The technology behind nail polishes has improved considerably over the last few years, so opting for a safer-for-your polish no longer means settling for watered-down shades and streaky finishes. Tong is an ambassador for Smith & Cult and favors the L.A.-based brand’s 8-free formulas that feature high-impact pigments minus harsh chemicals.

Find your true colors:

“Anyone that knows me knows I love a dark nail and a dark lip year round,” says Tong, who recommends ignoring the conventional rules and traditions about using light colors in summer and darker tones in winter. “We are not bound to seasonal color norms.” Her top picks for hand or toes right now: Dark Like Me, a deep plum (“I literally have this on right now!”), Tenderoni, a milky beige, and Stockholm Syndrome, an opaque gray.

Make it last:

Finish with a topcoat, but don’t go overboard — a thin layer will do, says Tong. Not only is this your insurance policy against chips and scuffs, but it also helps fend off environmental stress. “A top coat is a great shield against the elements,” says Tong. “I highly recommend it before beach activities or vacation.”

Look out for your nails’ wellbeing.

Most polish applications will last one to two weeks, depending on how tough or easy you are on your hands and toes. Also, Tong says nails don’t really need a “breather” or break in between polish jobs. “It’s a very common misconception,” she says. “The most damaging act against your nails is over-buffing. More often than not this act is far more damaging to nails than polish.” A better move: dab on cuticle oil and you’re done.

+ Click here to shop more nail polishes and nail-care products! 

 

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Wellness Wednesday: A New Way to Exfoliate

Wellness Wednesday: A New Way to Exfoliate

This kinder, gentler solution really works…

Exfoliating your skin usually comes with a downside — a lot of dryness and an unmistakable tight-pore feeling. Almost every product I’ve used has made my face feel so uncomfortable that I decided I’d rather deal with some dead skin and rough patches than suffer through the side effects of exfoliating. That’s why I was skeptical about trying The Beauty Chef’s Probiotic Skin Refiner. It claimed to exfoliate AND hydrate AND boost collagen production. Hmm, really, really? I pictured my skin turning red and flaky, with an intense burning sensation washing over me. But, after a summer of sweat and sunscreen, my pores were crying out for some help. I needed a good cleaning session.

I’ll cut right to the chase and tell you that the Skin Refiner is pretty amazing. It’s rich in lactic acid — a unique alpha hydroxy acid that breaks down dead skin cells and ups your skin’s natural moisturizing factors. What this means: when you put it on, it doesn’t dry out your face! Like many of The Beauty Chef’s products, it taps into the benefits of bio-fermented foods and probiotics to balance your complexion’s healthy flora levels, fight dark spots and boost your skin’s immunity and collagen growth (basically this elixir has all your needs handled).

Another bonus: Unlike other exfoliators that can only be used at night, this one can be dabbed on twice a day, so you can get the smoother, brighter results faster. Just soak a cotton pad and swipe on after cleansing. I applied a moisturizer afterward but if your skin is oily you could skip that step. It’s so gentle you can make the refiner part of your everyday routine — your pores will thank you.

Quick Recap: The Benefits

Triple threat: Exfoliates, hydrates and firms skin all in one!

Rich in probiotics to balance skin.

Contains bio-fermented extracts.

Plumps skin.

Lightens dark spots.

No tingling or burning!

Dab on morning and night.

+ Be sure to stay up to date with all things movement and wellness — follow FP Movement on Instagram!! 

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