Two great DIY books: Stunning Braids and Bath Bombs, Salts, and Scrubs

For someone who loves playing with makeup, I am not much of a do-it-yourselfer. I can’t get into scrapbooking, I’d rather buy a jar of tomato sauce than make my own and my Pinterest boards are full of projects I know I will never undertake. But I was sent two books that inspire me every day to do something with my hands, and my little projects always turn out great.

Stunning Braids

Stunning Braids

Stunning Braids:  Gorgeous Hairstyles for Any Occassion from Work to Weddings ($17.95) was written by Monae Everett, a fabulous hairstylist/blogger who has worked on lots of celebrities and has been featured in major publications like the Huffington Post and Redbook. Her book is fantastic for those just experimenting with braiding, although seasoned braiders will find lots of great styles to try as well.

Stunning Braids

Stunning Braids

The book starts with the basics, including specific product recommendations for everything from hair spray and serums to flat irons and hair dryers. Monae starts with braiding prep, and includes tips for creating styles like loose romantic waves and flat iron curls. Then she gets down to braiding business.

Each style has a large photo of the finished product, step by step photo instruction, plus additional tips and tricks. It starts with the basic three strand braid, ‘the mother of all braids’, and goes all the way through complicated knotted updos. It also has a great section for African-American hair.

This is one of the best braiding books I own. It’s amazing for working on someone else – my poor daughter is my guinea pig way more often than she would like – and it’s clear and simple enough for working on your own hair.  Stunning Braids is a great staple book to keep right on your vanity.

Bath Bombs, Salts, and Scrubs

Bath Bombs, Salts, and Scrubs

Another super fun book that I don’t use daily but that makes for some awesome weekend fun is Homemade Bath Bombs, Salts, and Scrubs ($14.95) by Kate Bello. This book has 300 recipes for luxurious soaks. While you might have some ingredients around the house like baking soda, coconut oil, and cornstarch, there are other ingredients to plan for like essential oils, Himalayan sea salt, rhassoul clay and flower petals.

Bath Bombs, Salts, and Scrubs

Bath Bombs, Salts, and Scrubs

There aren’t pretty pictures inside, but there are tons of easy to make recipes that address ailments like fevers, asthma, and cystic fibrosis. There is a section of recipes for skin and beauty concerns like acne, oily skin, and sensitive skin; plus recipes to use for meditation, chakra cleansing, and aphrodisiac baths. There are even recipes for men and for pregnancy, plus a cool section with recipes for baths from ‘around the world’. Here is one that I have made several times that I just love:

Clary Sage Uplifting Salt Soak

2 cups Himalayan salts

1 cup of coarse sea salts

1/2 cup of baking soda

1 cup rhassoul clay

5 drops of clary sage essential oil

5 drops lemongrass essential oil

2 drops of benzoin essential oil

I get a lot of my ingredients, including essential oils, from Whole Foods. Another great online source is Mountain Rose Herbs. I tend to go for the bath salt mixtures, but there are also great recipes for bath bombs and scrubs in this book as well. All of the creations make terrific gifts and Kate has suggestions for packaging and storing your creations as well.

Both of these books are terrific fun and I highly recommend them! They are published by Ulysses Press and can be found at Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Pick them up for some DIY that you will actually enjoy!   – Lisa

*received for editorial consideration

9 money-saving products for spring

Spring is officially here! How about some awesome products for the season that won’t make your wallet wince? Here are nine great items that are also affordable.

1.  Garment Saver Makeup Guard

Garment Saver

Garment Saver Makeup Guard

saving your clothes from your makeup!

saving your clothes from your makeup!

This handy little net keeps your makeup from staining your clothes. Put it over your head then slip on even the most expensive silk shell without fear of the dreaded foundation stain. The best part? A pack of 3 is only $9.50.

2.  Flats to Go!

With the snow and slush drying up, it’s time to break out the heels…but feet are still used to comfy flat winter boots. This handy solution will help you out when your feet are killing you.

Flats to Go in a cute little purse

Flats to Go in a cute little purse

Flats to Go

Flats to Go!

A little purse holds stylish flats that fold down into nothing for easy traveling. These cute gems are only $9.99 and they come in four different kinds of ballet flats: patent, snake print, alligator print, and fleecy leapord print.

3.  Kushyfoot Tights

These are some of the best tights ever! Pick up some fleece tights for colder days and some sheer body shaping tights for warmer days.

Kushyfoot Tights

Kushyfoot Tights

Fleece for colder days...

Fleece for colder days…

I can’t even begin to tell you how comfy these tights are. I feel like I am wearing my jammies to work when I have these on. They keep my legs warm, but they aren’t stifling in warmer weather.

Massaging soles keep feet happy

Massaging soles keep feet happy

And how fantastic to have massaging soles in tights that also shape your tummy, hips, and thighs? This version is more sheer than the fleece ones and both are super affordable at only $26.97 for three pairs – about $9 a pair!

5.  DIY DYE:  Bright and funky hair coloring you do at home

Having your hair colored can be very expensive. This book is full of awesome and creative ideas for coloring your hair at home.

DIY DYE

DIY DYE

DIY DYE

food coloring as hair dye

Even Kool Aide can work as hair color

Even Kool Aid can work as hair color

all the techniques

all the techniques

for beautifully colored hair!

for beautifully colored hair!

Who knew food coloring or Kool Aid could be used to color hair?? These ideas and so many more are in this book, along with great step-by-step instructions and photos of the finished product. Your investment? Only $16.95.

6.  Organix Coconut Milk Hibiscus Body Wash

Organix Coconut Milk Hibiscus Body Wash

Organix Coconut Milk Hibiscus Body Wash

Easily found in drugstores, this huge bottle of springy smelling body wash is pure heaven. Coconuts and hibiscus combine for a fabulous fresh scent and this creamy wash lathers up beautifully and leaves skin clean and moisturized. A hefty 13 fl.oz. bottle is only $8.99.

7.  Organix Coconut Milk Hibiscus Lotion

Organix Coconut Milk Hibiscus Lotion

Organix Coconut Milk Hibiscus Lotion

Get this to go with the body wash! It has the same heavenly scent and 13 fl. oz. of this heavenly light body lotion is only $7.99.

8.  Faith Aromatherapy Deodorant

Keep that fresh and clean spring theme going with this citrus and ginger scented deodorant.

Faith Aromatherapy Deodorant

Faith Aromatherapy Deodorant

What makes this deodorant really special is that it is aluminum-free. It keeps odor away with essential oils that kill bacteria, and it works for even the most sensitive skin.

9.  Zoya GieGie

The perfect springy pink nail color, GieGie is a ‘cherry blossom pink metallic’.

Essie Gie Gie

Essie GieGie

Essie Gie Gie

Essie GieGie

Nothing says spring better than cherry blossoms. And you can find this gorgeous shade for just $9.00.

Celebrate the coming warmth with some practical and pretty things for yourself – and feel good about all the money you have saved!  – Lisa

*some items sent for editorial consideration, some purchased by me

Aveeno shares some beautiful hairstyles along with a giveaway

AVEENO® has worked with the celebrity hairdresser Patrick Melville for years. This year he came up with some beautiful hairstyles with the latest trends and the tricks for getting them. When you read about these you’ll see one of my favorite AVEENO® hair products in this post and that’s what we’re giving away.

Half Up:
2010 Breakthrough Of The Year Awards
1) Tease the hair on the root to create a little volume (not too much just enough to add a little boost)
2) Use the AVEENO® Pure Renewal™ Dry Shampoo to add hold
3) Flip hair upside down spray a little more dry shampoo to add texture to the hair
4) Flip the hair back, breaking up the strands with your fingers
5) Grab the hair from the ears and secure at the crown with a bobby pin
6) Once secured you will have height on top and break up with your fingers

High Bun: New Balance Experience Store Opening

1) Pull hair away from the face and put into a very high ponytail

2) Take a tail comb and tease the sections of the ponytail

3) Smooth over the top of the hair with a brush and twist into a top bun

4) Pin in with bobby pins to secure

5) Break up the hair with your fingers so it isn’t a “perfect look” (this look is great with a high collar top…a nice combo of loose and sleek)

Date night, bar night, out with the girls – you want to look your best and with AVEENO® hair care you will. AVEENO® has offered to send one US subscriber AVEENO® Pure Renewal™ Dry Shampoo. aveeno dry shampoo drugstore

This giveaway is open until 3/1/13 at 11:59 p.m. EST to US subscribers only. Enter through the Rafflecopter. — Marcia

a Rafflecopter giveaway

AG Hair Frizzproof Argan Anti-Humidity Spray is going side by side with us

It’s always exciting for Beauty Info Zone to be able to introduce a brand new product to our readers and today we have an absolutely amazing one to share with you. We’ve previously reviewed Beach Bomb from AG Hair which was a big hit. Now AG Hair has added a brand new product for 2013 in their Smooth line and we’ve been previewing it for the last 6 weeks. We’ve fallen in love with it and want you to know all about it too. Introducing AG Hair Smooth Frizzproof Argan Anti-Humidity Spray.

AG

AG Frizzproof

Frizzproof does what it says it’s going to do. It keeps hair frizz free but it’s unlike anything you’ve called a spray before. This has extremely light hold since the purpose is to weather protect your hair without adding layers of unnecessary product. No matter the season, frizz attacks when it wants to. Rain, snow, humidity all conspire to beat our hair into submission. With AG Hair Smooth Frizzproof Argan Anti-Humidity Spray you won’t be worrying about the effects of weather.

AG frizz proof

Here’s what we learned about what’s in Frizzproof:

  • Copolymers – add light hold, high shine and humidity resistance, yet rinse out of hair easily without residue or build-up
  • CFC-free (ozone safe) – fast-drying, low-alcohol formulation doesn’t dry out hair
  • Argan oil – sustainably sourced fair-trade organic Moroccan argan oil is rich in antioxidants and vitamin E keeping hair

You can find AG Products at many salons and at Ulta. On their website you can also put in your zip code to find where their products are sold near you. This 8 oz/237 ml can is $24. Now read on to see Marcia and Lisa’s experiences with Frizzproof.

Works for Phyllis Diller, but not really for anyone else...

Works for Phyllis Diller, but not really for anyone else…

MARCIA’S SIDE:

Whenever you see beautiful hair on Beauty Info Zone it’s usually Lisa’s. While I like my hair it’s not that pretty lush hair that can be shown off. Instead I have to tame my hair and that’s usually with a keratin treatment. I’ve had a Brazilian Blowout procedure done on my hair several times because frizz is my enemy!! That’s why AG Hair Frizzproof is my companion lately.

Looks like a hairspray...but does it act like one??

Looks like a hairspray…but does it act like one??

When this first arrived for review I put off trying it because I’m really not a hairspray person. My experience with hair spray is “helmet head” that would make me cry when I was a teenager. My mother lives for her hairspray and the more the better. Thinking she was doing me a favor if there was a special occasion, she’d spray the crap out of my hair. I honestly would cry. So spray is rarely used on my head.

But Frizzproof is totally different. No nasty smell, no helmet head, but lots of shine and just the right amount of control. More important these little frizzy hairs aren’t on display. Even with a major hot flash it’s pretty well under control and that’s saying a lot. I love that it is argan infused and I love that it’s protecting my hair from my frizz enemy.

LISA’S SIDE:

You’ve already read the particulars, so here are some pics of my ‘experiment’.  Here is my hair before the start of a humid, rainy, nasty day:

Before

Before some typical Michigan weather…

What usually happens is my curls become fuzzy, frizzy strands that look pretty awful. Without a professional smoothing treatment, my hair isn’t even close to being smooth. It takes a lot of product, and that usually fails me on really wet humid days.

after

After, my hair looks a little tired…but no frizz!

And here it is after – I actually ended up having to run through the rain three times this particular day. I didn’t have an umbrella, which I totally told everyone was because of the blog…but really I just forgot it. There, now I won’t burn in hell for lying.

There was a total of 12 wet, humid, frizz-inducing hours between my before and after pics.  I have used it every day for the past 6 weeks with the same results every time.  AG Frizzproof works.  I love it!!

BOTH SIDES: We both highly recommend AG Hair Smooth Frizzproof Argan Anti-Humidity Spray. Rainy, humid days don’t frighten us anymore.

*sent for an honest review

 

Hair styling the easy way at Drybar

On our California trip, Marcia and I experienced something we just don’t have in Michigan – a salon where the whole focus is a great blow out.  The name of the salon is the Drybar.  Styles range from Straight Up (simple and straight) to Mai Tai (messy and beachy), and they all cost $35. 

Patty, our friend and guest blogger, brought me, Marcia, and Cindy from Prime Beauty to the Drybar.  When we first sat down we were given a picture book with examples of all the styles, as well as a complimentary flavored water or Mimosa.  Marcia went for the flavored water, but Cindy and I decided to throw caution to the wind and indulge in a Mimosa.  Yum!!

Once we picked our styles, we were brought to the back for shampoo and conditioner.  Marcia snapped a quick pick – from left to right that’s Patty, Cindy, and me. 

I chose the Cosmopolitan look, which was described as ‘lots of loose curls’.  Here is my finished look from the front, along with my amazing stylist Maxie. 

Check out the look from the back – I just loved it!!  They offer extra services like a 10 minute head massage, monthly memberships, and even in-home services.  I would go to the Drybar all the time if they had one in Michigan!

Here is Marcia’s final look, doesn’t she look awesome?  We all loved our experience, and you can check out more (see if there is one near you!) online here .  – Lisa