My Snapguide for Hanging Paper Lanterns in a Nursery

A friend turned me on to Snapguide and now I’m fully obsessed. It’s an app that allows you to post and gather mini pictorial guides on how to do just about anything from computer related things to cooking and anything in between. I made one last night as we assembled our paper lantern mobile for our nursery and it already has 366 views in less than 24 hours. It took just a few minutes to create (the guide that is) but best of all are the other guides that are so fun to look through. This is the next big app, I just know it. Check it out and follow me (Hooked on Beauty Carissa), then click HERE to see in just a few steps how we assembled our paper lantern mobile you see below.

How to Get Huge Lashes

If you see me out somewhere I’m probably wearing no less than 7 coats of mascara. You’d never know it because my lashes are never thick or clumpy, just long and defined and I know it’s due to the formula I’ve been buying pretty consistently now for years: LashBlast Fusion. I don’t really know the difference between this one versus the orange tube, but I didn’t like the orange and the yellow tube was great for a while but I couldn’t get it to build like I can using this formula.

My process goes like this; primer (PureLash, I’ve used it for 4+ years now), then curl (with the Shu curler of course), then the first coat of mascara using the ‘press and wiggle’ technique taking the brush from the very base of my lashes all the way up to the tip. This will lay down more than that ‘flicking’ technique where the wand barely grazes the lash tips and doesn’t pump up the roots where you want the most volume. Now let it dry. Applying  more to wet lashes creates clumps so be patient – it’s only a few minutes. All dry? Curl again (hugely important – you’ll get way more of a a wide-eye effect with 2 curls instead of one), then another coat. Your subsequent layers will be applied from the mid part of the last upward and always wait until the last coat has dried. Keep laying it on until you’re happy.

With some mascaras this might be a recipe for disaster, but there’s something about this formula, brush, and technique that makes lash building so easy.

How to Get the Softest Skin Ever

I think I’ve unlocked the secret to super soft skin. You know that freshly shaven out of the shower sort of feeling? It’s literally how my skin feels all the time now. First I started dry brushing (read everything you ever wanted to know about drybrushing HERE), but I used these body gloves (shown below from Body Shop $5) to sweep away flakey for about a week before switching to using them with a body wash in the shower every day.

I’ve been foaming up my gloves using my Aromafloria Kiwi Coconut Foaming Body Wash with Shea Butter $20. it’s a moisture-infused SLS and paraben free wash – important because I don’t think I’d get the same result using a harsh bar soap like an Irish Spring or whatever. With a mild and super hydrating wash like this, I’m scrubbing my skin while infusing it with good stuff to help soften it at the same time.

What I’ve found from this consistent exfoliation is that the texture and feel of my skin has completely changed. It’s always soft – especially during the dead of winter here in dry Colorado. Try it! I promise if you’re consistent you will see a huge, amazing difference.

Apple Cider Hair Treatment

After the success of my Coconut Oil hair treatment I thought I’d tackle another DIY home beauty remedy I’ve been wanting to try for a while – rinsing my hair with Apple Cider vinegar. Gross. I think the idea of pouring warm vinegar all over my hair (and subsequently body) just wasn’t that appealing for obvious reasons, but seeing this John Masters Organics cider vinegar treatment at a recent trip to the store re-ignited my curiosity for what has long been one of the most popular (and easiest) home hair treatments out there. I convinced myself to go for it, but I’d mix my own – the John Masters version was mainly vinegar anyway with just a few natural extracts splashed in there to neutralize the scent, I thought I could get the same results at home for less than the $17 they were asking.

I thought the treatment was only used as a clarifier, something to remove reside from the hair and scalp but I was happy to find out how much more it actually does. I mixed together about 1 part vinegar to 3 parts water into a plastic cup. After shampooing twice (as I always do), I slowly poured the cider over my head until I felt it reach my scalp and trickle down the length of my hair. No rubbing or massaging required – just leave it in a few minutes to absorb and give it a quick rinse. This is about the time I started to worry about my thick, coarse hair not being conditioned enough to comb it out. I was sure I’d have giant knots and dried out hair without the usual slab of conditioner I carefully work into my ends – I thought I’d have to jump back into the shower and re-wash and condition to undo the mess I thought I was making.

I was pretty shocked when I was able to comb right through my hair (after my styling products were applied) just like usual. After it dried I could see that this was the best hair treatment I’ve ever used and my hair never looked better. It didn’t leave a squeaky clean feel like most clarifiers do (a good sign that some natural oils were left in) – instead it rinsed out enough reside and build-up to create a really intense shine. Best of all, my hair had a crazy amount of softness which I didn’t expect, it felt like I just left the salon with the kind of bounce and life that typically only happens after my stylist works her magic – but nothing I’ve ever created on my own.

Not knowing if it was just some crazy hair fluke, I did it again a week later. Again, magic. I’m addicted.

After my first treatment. Click to enlarge

I’ve read varying reports on whether it strips color from hair, but I’m not concerned about it since it’s so gentle and the John Master’s version claims to neutralize your hair’s pH that can get out of whack after coloring so it’s actually good to keep your color fresh. One thing of note: I used Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar ($5.50) some of the best around, it’s unpasteurized with a low acidic level. I read that the type of vinegar you use does make a difference since a high acid cotent can actually be too harsh and not deliver the same results, so grab a good quality vinegar – it’s still a fraction of the cost of the store bought treatment and worth every cent.

How to Do a Marble Manicure (tips and tutorial video)

Although it’s totally not my style (the tutorial is done on acrylic nails for God’s sake), I had to at least try to do a marble nail mani and I’m sure you will too after you see the tutorial. Now the video isn’t by me because mine looked like shit (I should’ve taken pics of my failed attempts but my fingers were covered in tape), so I’ll leave it up to the manicurist in the video who has wrangled up over 2.6 million views for her deceptively easy looking and really cool tutorial.

Before you bust the tape, a few tips that I learned the hard way:

- Room temp water is vital.

- Use polish with a thin texture, thick ones won’t spread out in the water the way hers do which makes a goopy mess.

- Close the windows and turn off any fans or else the polish will dry quickly in the water before you have a chance to dip.

I used thick polish and freezing cold water outside where it was breezy, so you can see that I was fighting a losing battle. I wish you better luck.

The Best Mineral Foundation for Dry Skin

Women with dry skin want the benefits a mineral foundation but adding a powder to already parched skin doesn’t give the hydration or nourishment the way this combo will. I paired’s popular Mineral Powder Foundation with One Love Organics Skin Savior Waterless Multi Balm made with cold pressed oils of coconut, soy, mango, and a few other plant based good-for-your-skin essentials to create a custom mineral foundation balm perfect for dry skin. Check out my step by step guide on creating a soothing mineral foundation to treat and perfect your dry skin.

Pictured: One Love Organics Skin Savior and Mineral Powder Foundation. I chose h.wood’s powder because it carries a lot of pigment and its formula is non-drying, a natural fit for a dry skin treatment.

This balm is incredible for everything. Cleansing, makeup removal, moisturizing, and of course, making a custom mineral foundation balm.

Sprinkle out a pile of the mineral foundation on one side of the lid and add a dab of the Skin Savior to the other with a concealer brush and mix them together.

You’ve just created your very own custom blended mineral foundation in seconds.

Now, I tried mixing the foundation with a face cream which worked but not as well because the cream didn’t capture the pigment as densely so the coverage was very sheer and blended into the skin quickly leaving only a small amount of coverage behind. It’s the balm’s unique properties that really make this combo really work. I’m so in love with this custom creation that I’ve been pre-mixing a lid of it (like shown above) when I work with clients so I can have it ready if I want to use it to highlight the cheekbones, as an eye concealer, or to finish dry skin without using powder by pressing a bit over their foundation. I can pretty much drum up a reason to use it on everyone, no matter what their skin type might be.