How to Get Rid of Those Bumps on the Backs of Your Arms

I’ve found the perfect combo for beating those weird dry bumps on the backs of arms that are especially annoying this time of year when all you want to do in this heat is go sleeveless. It’s all about dry brushing and Fat Girl Slim Arm Candy from bliss.

First things first; you need a dry brush. This is the one I bought on amazon.com which I’ve had for a few years and it’s still in perfect condition. While you start the water to the shower, use this brush to really buff away dry skin on the backs of your arms (I use it all over.) And not just one quick swipe, I’m talking about applying some pressure and going back and forth on your skin until it’s literally red. It is scratchy and a little uncomfortable at first- I won’t lie, but that’s how it has to work to stimulate your lymphatic system and encourage toxins to drain. It increases circulation and helps with things like cellulite, acne, and exfoliation. After the first time doing it, you’ll see that your skin glows and feels softer than it ever has. It’s one of those things that when you get in the habit of doing it, you’ll do it forever. Look into it, it’s a simple way to get your skin looking better.

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After your shower don’t apply anything except for arm candy to the backs of your arms. It’s a super light lotion rich with lactic acid to soften and exfoliate rough skin, and caffeine to reduce redness and even your skintone. It’s not so much of a moisturizer as it is a treatment though, which is good because you don’t want anything super heavy and greasy anyway. The dry brushing removes dead, rough skin so this will penetrate easier and work quickly. You’ll notice a difference in days. It really is the best I’ve tried for this and something I’ll always have on hand.

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It’s so easy! Give it a try and break out the tank tops, it’s time to show some skin.

How to Dermaplane/ Don’t Try This at Home

Dermaplaning. How I love thee.

For those unfamiliar it’s an exfoliating skin treatment performed by facialists that removes tons of dead surface skin (and peach fuzz) using a razor blade. Basically, it’s a hard core face-shave best described by Cheryl over at The Cut who goes into detail of her experience getting the treatment- worth a read if you haven’t had it done. I love it because my face is hairy (I’m Italian what can I say?) and it fully removes that peach fuzz and top layer of skin so well that I obsessively touch my face for about a week after because it’s so soft. It gives a youthful and radiant glow plus your skincare will penetrate and work better not having the dry skin and hair barrier blocking its way. It’s a technique that’s been used for years and it’s so simple and non-invasive. You can usually add it onto any facial for $20 or so, but since I haven’t been to my facialist since forever, I decided to bravely DIY this treatment that’s admittedly best left to the pros.

Now let’s be clear, I really don’t recommend you do this yourself. We’re talking about taking a sharp, medical grade scalpel to your skin that could cut and permanently scar your face. But for me, I felt like after a few quick YouTube vids I could dermaplane with the best of em. (Side note: ever since I learned to roll sushi via YouTube I feel like I’m just a four minute tutorial away from learning anything. I somehow felt like I could repair our broken dryer after watching this video today but eventually called someone who actually knows what they’re doing.)

Anyway.

I was a little nervous getting started but I followed the tips on how to hold the blade at an angle and how lightly to press to a T. I was so gentle that I had to do a few passes to get results but that’s better than going nuts and hacking a chunk of skin off my cheek. Afterward I applied my Vivant Mandelic Acid serum which did sting a little on my sensitized skin (typical) but it was back to normal the following day.

I didn’t take a before and after because I didn’t think to, but the pic below demonstrates pretty typical results immediately after a treatment.

If you’re looking to try dermaplaning at home.. don’t. You really shouldn’t. But if you’re stubborn, stupid, pressed for time, and cheap like me, here’s what I used.

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These blades I bought from Amazon that received glowing recommendations. How could 39 people be wrong?

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It’s a lightweight curved blade with a plastic handle. The ones used by pros have a metal handle where you pop in disposable straight blades after each use. It goes without saying that they are extremely sharp. People in the reviews say they also use them in the kitchen as ultra sharp pairing knives. Let’s hope it wasn’t after they used them to shave the skin and hair off their faces because yuk if so.

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Photo credit: dermistique.com

If you do try it be sure to let me know how it goes but be careful and do your homework. Sharp objects and ignorance do not mix.

My Foundation and Skin Spray Dream Team

When clients ask what brands I use in my kit I always answer the same way, “the best of the best.” It makes sense, I get to try out so many amazing things from companies big and small so I promote the best stuff to kit status where they’ll make my job as a Makeup Artist much easier. The mistake I often make is leaving them there and not using them for myself.

I usually take a few winter months off from my wedding makeup biz which is typically when we vacation for a few months by the beach. This year we stayed in Colorado to focus on our baby girl and (finally) finding a house after a two year search. (I think we’re there!) So because my kit has been parked in the closet and I just ran out, I got my fave foundation (along with my miracle setting spray) out of my kit and into my bathroom.

I can’t say enough about Koh Gen Do and their moisture foundation, not that I really have to since so many makeup artists and celebs use it. Its perfect ratio of powder, emollients, and water give it a better-than-skin look that’s never heavy or drying. It’s the perfect photography makeup but it’s so light that I overlooked the fact that it’s a great everyday makeup too. My melasma is slowly fading out but I still need some coverage so when I have time I quickly blend it in with my fingers before setting it with my favorite spray.

Caudalie Beauty Elixir is another kit staple for many MUA’s because it somehow makes the skin look better. If ever I’m having problems getting foundation to blend into a client’s dry skin, a few sprays pressed into the skin using a Beauty Blender does the trick. I top my foundation with a few sprays and skip the powder. The result using the two together is healthy, even looking skin.

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Just a quick snap I took today in the drive through at Starbucks. I say ‘snap’ only because I’m too old for selfies. See? Even skin. (Side note: I wasn’t mad and I’m not cross-eyed. At least I don’t think I am but it might be because my wonky eye can’t see that it’s wonky.)

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Another DIY: How to Ombré A Dresser

Those sleepless/uncomfortable nights during this pregnancy meant lots of time on Pinterest. Instead of just pinning away and collecting photos of projects I’ll never do, I actually did a few things that I never imagined possible.

I debated for a long time whether or not to paint these dressers from Ikea once we decided to use them in the nursery. Both nurseries have white cribs and dressers because I didn’t like any of the wood options and black seemed too harsh for a girl’s room. This meant two similar looking rooms and the oppertunity to go a little more creative to try and make each unique.  I love the ombré painted furniture that’s so popular right now, and that look just seemed perfect in this room since I went big on color whereas my first daughter’s room has splashes here and there. Why not I figured?! The very worst thing that could happen is I’d just paint it white again.

It’s so easy and fast. Here’s what I did.

These are the dressers we used from Ikea which were originally intended to be nightstands for our room but turned out to be way too big. Because one was already put together when we discovered how massive they looked, I decided to re-purpose them in the new nursery instead of taking them back to Ikea to fight for a store credit. Harper’s dresser is never enough storage it seems and we already have these mostly filled so I’m glad this is what we went with instead of one smaller dresser.

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Here they are before the paint, just plain ol dressers. I went to Guiry’s and paid a few bucks for 3 of each color in sample sizes (pictured on the dresser) which was just enough to cover the drawers with 2 coats. Not shown is the priming step where I used this primer that we also used to stain our nightstands.

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Here are the colors I used. For the ombré look you just take any 3 colors in a row from a color swatch which will give you that progressive look. It’s that easy.

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I thought at first it was going to look too dark, but I love it. The darkest color is what’s used in the room for the curtains and accessories, so that’s what I matched to. More photos of the nursery to come (I’m thisclose to being done!!)

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I got the crystal pulls from Hobby Lobby which were $4 each and 50% off (I needed 12.) I didn’t want to add any more color so I think it worked out perfect.

How to Make Glitter Pumpkins

Seeing all of the pretty fall decorations on Pinterest inspired me to make glitter pumpkins for my fall mantle I put together every year at this time. It turned out to be so easy and I love the touch of sparkle they add to an otherwise dull palette. Here’s how I did it.

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All you need is craft glue, a brush, ultra fine glitter, and ‘funkins’ which is what the plastic kind is actually called. I found it all at Hobby Lobby.

Use the brush to spread the glue on the pumpkin then sprinkle on a good amount of glitter to really coat it. Do it over a paper towel so when you’re done with each one you can fold the paper towel and dump the excess glitter back into the jar. The final step I didn’t show was painting the tip of the pumpkin stem black. Not a must but I had the paint sitting around and thought it would add some pop.

It took no time at all and wasn’t the mess I thought it would be.

There are so many ways to display them, but I wanted them on or in something to contain any glitter fall-out. I put two of them on pine cones in large vases and the others on top of a baking dish I turned upside down. I like the varying heights in the display so it’s perfect.

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Be brave and try a little DIY for holiday decor. It’s not as hard as you’d think.

IKEA Rast Hack for a 2 Toned Contemporary Looking Nightstand

I knew when we started designing our bedroom that I didn’t want any matching furniture. I wanted a contemporary look with personal touches even if that meant we’d have to do some work ourselves. After combing through my fave app Houzz I saw a nightstand that I loved. A few days later on Pinterest I discovered the world of ‘Rast hacks’ (Google it!) and here we are. Check out our journey in making unfinished furniture into something really special and cool for our bedroom.

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This was my inspiration, an overpriced nightstand I saw on Houzz.

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And here’s the $35 Rast dresser (I don’t know why they call it that, it’s barely large enough to be called a nightstand) from IKEA.

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What we used. I read that BIN was the best primer for the job so it’s what I got. The middle can is a white Benjamin Moore Paint, and Danish Oil stain. The small can on top is the polyurethane that you use over the stain to seal it- not a step you want to skip.

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Mike put it all together before first  which you don’t have to do but we didn’t want to knick anything up after working so hard on it.

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Take the drawers out and face the fronts up so you can easily paint them.

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I used tape so I wouldn’t get primer and paint all over the inside. Don’t worry about painting in there, you’ll never notice it’s unfinished.

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All primed! The drawer fronts were the easy part, just one coat of primer and 2 of the white paint. I used a roller instead of a brush so I wouldn’t get brush streaks, but I ended up with small bubbles that made the surface look textured so I used a light grit sandpaper to smooth it out before the second coat and then I rolled slowly. Ask someone when you buy the paint what brush or roller would work best so you don’t get streaks or bubbles.

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Here’s Mike applying the first coat of the Danish Oil. He ended up using several more coats and then a different stain in a process that ended up taking a few weeks because we couldn’t get them as dark as we wanted.

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After a little Googling and a lot of help from the paint department at Home Depot, Mike bought a third stain. We ran the risk of the stain not penetrating because of over saturating so he sanded them down first before adding a Minwax stain that would end up being just perfect. We were thankful it worked and they dried in just a few days. The nightstand on the left is what we had after trying the two stains and on the right is the final color. It looks black but it’s not, it’s a rich chestnut that matches our dresser perfectly.

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Here it is! I haven’t finished accessorizing them yet (I’m focusing on the nursery.)

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The ring pulls were from Horton Brasses, they’re the 1 7/8 size with a satin nickel finish. Yes, pricey but you won’t find something that looks this nice at Lowe’s or Home Depot (believe me I tried!)

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Another look In our room.

A few takeaways:

These Rast nightstands are much shorter and more narrow than what we’ve had in the past. Measure what you already have in your room, then measure these to see how they size up. I didn’t mind the smaller size because they force me to de-clutter.

Because they’re so small, they aren’t terribly sturdy. Consider what you’ll be putting in them and if you have small children who climb all over things. Again, we haven’t had any problems but it’s something to think about.

If you aren’t getting the right color right away, go buy another stain because layering doesn’t increase the richness of the color by much.

Try the stain on just a small area instead of the whole thing. Doing that would’ve saved us a lot of time.

I’m so glad we took a chance with this project since we aren’t DIY people. They turned out perfect and gave us the confidence to do another project for the nursery that I’m so excited to share with you soon.