Posts Tagged ‘at home’

FLORAL WATER SPRAY

photos/post/design: Kristin Ess

What’s the best thing about Spring? Flowers, obviously! Especially the ones that can be bottled up and sprayed all over. Today were going to show you how to make your own floral water.

You will need: A large metal pot with glass dome lid, a ceramic ramekin, flowers, cutting board, knife, bottled water, turkey baster, ice.

  1. In the center of your large pot, place ceramic ramekin as your “catch bowl”. This is where the floral water will fall. Some people use bricks below their catch bowl but I’ve always thought that makes my water smell a little dirty. Instead I use a ceramic ramekin that can withstand higher heat. I’ve never had a problem with the ramekin getting too hot and “cooking” the fragrance. But if you want to put a brick under as a buffer, go for it!
  2. Pull the petals off of your flowers and give them a little chop. Not too much– I just do it to help release the fragrance.
  3. Pile the flowers around the ceramic ramekin as you see in photo 3. Add 1 1/2 cups of water for each cup of flowers. Note: Depending on where you live, I suggest using bottled water. If there’s any unwanted bacteria in your tap water, you certainly don’t want to bottle it up. Could get gross, fast!
  4. Place your glass lid upside down on the pot. Add a tray of ice on top. Without going into too much detail- the cold temperature of the ice will help procure condensation underneath the lid.
  5. Place it on the stovetop on low. I used a turkey baster to clear away the ice as it melted. Watch your flowers– once the color is gone from the petals, lift the lid. You should end up with a small amount of clear liquid inside  your ramekin.
  6. Use a turkey baster to transfer the floral water into a bottle. You may have to repeat the process to get an entire bottle full. Tighten the lid and spray away!!  

Here’s my hilarious little illustration of how the process works. Uh– don’t judge.

My favorite flowers to use:

  • Rose (particularly Sterling Silver if you can find them)
  • Jasmine
  • Chamomile (any tea for that matter)
  • Lemon Thyme
  • Lavender
  • Orange blossom
  • Honeysuckle
  • Champaka
  • Sage
  • Verbena
  • Coconut
  • Peony
  • Frangipani

Sadly I haven’t been able to make gardenias work for this yet, but luckily all of the ones above have worked really well.

REMOVING GEL NAILS AT HOME

PHOTO/POST/GRAPHIC DESIGN: KRISTIN ESS

You can’t plan for everything. A few nights ago I realized a couple of my gel nails were lifting at the tip and one was splitting on the side. They were just about to hit their expiration date. I had 2 parties to stop by that night. Couldn’t get in to see my manicurist because the whole world was getting their nails done last week. I made the decision to take them off at home and wear my natural nails for the next couple days and then go in after the first of the year to have them put back on. I did everything the same way my manicurist does in the nail salon and it turned out pretty well. I wouldn’t recommend doing this unless you’re in a pinch like I was, but the alternative is ripping them off or going to someone else (which I will not). I did one hand at a time and had no problems. Here’s how…

You will need: a piece of paper (I used a paper placemat), pure acetone, 5 cotton balls, 10 pieces of foil (I tore mine into 3″x 3″ squares), a wood or metal orange stick, nail file, nail buffer.

  1. FILE: Use a coarse nail file to scratch the surface. You have to break through that clear coat they put on top last in order to get to the polish below. You don’t have to go crazy, just enough so that the acetone has a place to seep in.
  2. SOAK: Tear 5 cotton balls in half so you have 10 pieces total. Soak them in acetone and lay them on the nail. Wrap your foil square around the finger and let it sit. I let mine stay on for about 7 minutes after I finished the last one on my first hand. You can really only do one hand at a time.
  3. SCRAPE: Start scraping the gel nail off with your orange stick. It should fall right off. If there’s some that seems hard to remove, put it back in to soak longer. NOTE: When you pull the foil off, don’t unwrap it, just pull it straight off the tip of your finger so it stays “cupped”. That way it stays the same shape incase you need to slide your finger back in it for a few more minutes. I had to do this with 2 of mine. You don’t want to file or peel any of the gel off. Better to put it back in and let it sit for another minute or 2.
  4. FINISH: Once you’ve removed all the gel color, you’ll most likely be left with little bit of a spotty clear layer. That’s where the primer and first clear coat meet and it doesn’t come up with the acetone. I washed my hands thoroughly, then took my 4-sided buffer and smoothed it all out. I actually like it because it kind of serves as a “spackle”– once I buffed my nails they were smooth with no scratches or divits. I then shaped my nails, rinsed the dust off and painted them as usual.

I know that soaking your fingers in acetone is crazy, but we do it until there’s a better alternative with gels. I hope this helps some of you the next time you’re in a bind. And please– DON’T PEEL OR BITE YOUR GELS OFF! xo

OFTEN OVERLOOKED: THE TOOTHBRUSH

Sometimes we focus so much on what’s new that we forget how many tools we have hiding in the drawers at home. A spare toothbrush comes in quite handy in the hair world and I always keep a couple in my kit. The two best uses I’ve found for this ol’ thing are:

Smoothing down annoying fly-aways + baby hairs around the hair line. Spray a little strong-holding hairspray directly on the bristles of the toothbrush and smooth those little buggers down. On fine hair, I spray it directly on the toothbrush. With thick/coarse hair I usually spray it straight on the little hairs and then smooth over with the toothbrush because with coarser hair you usually need a bit more spray that what you’ll get off the toothbrush.

Cleaning out the vent on your blow dryer is important! Okay, you know when the blow dryer starts getting hotter than normal or even shorts out? It’s probably caused by a build up of lint or dust in the back of your blow dryer. The fan and motor have to work insanely hard and they get really hot if the back isn’t clean + clear. Cleaning that vent out isn’t usually very easy, but with a toothbrush it is! Just run the bristles of the toothbrush back and forth across the metal mesh on back. I like to remove the vent on my ELCHIM dryer, blow the remaining dust particles through using the front end of the dryer, then re-attatch it. The more particles you keep out of the vent, the cleaner it will run and the longer it will last.

What beauty uses do you have for a spare toothbrush? Let’s exchange ideas below!

WEEKEND EDITION: CHLORINE IN THE HAIR

photos/graphic design/post: Kristin Ess

Many of you have been so helpful with sharing your own tips + tricks. So what do you do to avoid chlorine green? There are so many methods out there! Here’s our favorite:

  • Wet your hair in the shower before jumping in the pool. Make sure your shower water isn’t chlorinated. If the chlorine level in your shower water is high you should be using a water filtration system like THIS ONE.
  • Wring out the water and apply regular conditioner to the middle + ends of your hair. You don’t need a ton- the size of a quarter will do the trick. Don’t rinse it out.
  • Now put your hair in a low tight bun before jumping in to the pool.

Hair is just like a sponge. Whatever it soaks up first will likely sit on the inside allowing very little chlorinated water to make its way to the middle. By soaking the hair with unchlorinated water + conditioner first, you’re protecting the majority of your hair and avoiding a very harsh removal process later on. After a chlorinated swim, always wash your hair with a clarifying shampoo like THIS ONE or THIS ONE. Even when the chlorine only hits the surface, it can still greatly effect the shine of your hair because it roughs up the cuticle (outer layer). Rough cuticles = brittle hair. Condition well with a moisture rich mask after using a clarifying shampoo.

So spill it! What’s your best trick for avoiding green, brittle, dull chlorinated hair?