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Amanda Kate

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Bridal Season is Among Us

kate forman

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Well, it's officially summer. Okay, not officially, but basically, IT IS SUMMER !!! Have you got everything in order?

Let us now consult the checklist...

  1. Sunscreen. NOT just any sunscreen but one that won't make you break out while simultaneously blocking havoc wreaking UVA and UVB Rays that can lead to skin cancer and unsightly HYPERPIGMENTATION aka sunspots. NOOOOOO!!!! 

  2. Straw Hat. Because chances are, you may not have yet found that sunscreen :( 

  3. Bikini Body. Hmm, well I don't know about you but my time for yoga and pilates has been a little short. I try to do some sit ups, leg lifts and push ups while I watch TV, but all the good shows are on summer break! For now, I DRY BRUSH prior to each shower (more on that later) and slather Anti-Cellulite Therapy Oil all over my thighs, stomach and sides! 

  4. One-Piece Swimsuit. Because of course I'm not ready for bikini season!

  5. Fancy Dresses. (In which I will watch beautiful couples perform their nuptuals. )

If you or someone you know is getting ready to wed, I am going to warn you...there will be a photographer...and not just any photographer. Enter the WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER, essentially a ninja with a camera, who will immortalize your face on this very day. Yes, I know it's not even YOUR day but for some reason it still feels like the focus is YOUR face....and no, there is nothing you can do except to be prepared!

As an Esthetician I have a few essentials to recommend for getting your mug flash photography ready before your old-roommates brother's second wedding. 

1. Prepare the canvas. Cleanse 2x daily with a cleanser appropriate for your skin-type. Tone. Apply a Serum and or Moisturizer rich in Anti-Oxidants, Essential Fatty Acids, and other nutrients. Protect with SPF.  Lip Polish. Prevent the dried-out-flake-off lip look when wearing the perfect hue to match your earrings...or shoes...or clutch. 

exfoliate with a gentle but effective exfoliant and apply a face mask that can both detoxify and remineralize your skin approximately 2-3 times a week. These products will keep your skin from looking dull or flaky. 

Abura recommends: Calming Serum, Calming Mist, Matcha Mask, Honey Scrub and Face and Body Butter with SPF.

2. Paint the canvas. Prime. Don't let your make up slip off mid-Macarena. Contour. Shade (darken beneath the cheek bones toward the chin) and Highlight (lighten above the cheek bones underneath the eyes to emphasize the beauty bones without having to make the dirty dirty "duckface". Use a Waterproof Mascara, because there will be tears. Mind, line and fill the brows with a color closely matched to your natural haircolor. As far as the lips go, do the opposite of whatever route you went with your eyes. Eye's Heavy: Lip's Light OR Eye's Light: Lip's Heavy. Bring a loose face powder for periodic touch ups in order to prevent too much shine. 

No matter how many glasses of champagne you've imbibed throughout the night, DO NOT go to bed without washing your face!

Goodnight and Goodluck!

What’s in Your Vanity?

kate forman

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Have you ever opened the mirror above your sink, only to experience an avalanche of products that you didn’t even know you had? If not, Bravo!... On either having a large enough vanity to hold all that junk, half of which is probably expired, or for having the perfect amount of beauty essentials. I’ve decided to make a list of what I find to be essential and most effective in my beauty routine. Some of these items may be old news to you, but this is my blog post and I want to talk about why these items are important!

Cleanser. Throughout the day our faces come in contact with dirt, debris, environmental pollutants, and often times, make-up. The first step to clear, radiant skin is removing these itty bitty weapons from our skin’s surface. Use a cleanser designed for your skin type that will not strip away the skin’s protective barrier, aka the “acid mantle”. Think "oily, normal, dry, sensitive or aging". 

Toner. This watery solution often found in a spray bottle or can be poured onto cotton rounds is designed to further cleanse the skin while properly balancing the PH. Like a cleanser, a toner should be selected based on skin type. 

Serum. These healthy, often nutrient rich blends penetrate the skin more deeply than a moisturizing cream. Serum’s can be used in the morning and night, after toning and before putting on moisturizing SPF or make-up. Only a small amount is needed to feed the skin and give it a silky and radiant complexion. 

SPF. While your make-up may contain an SPF factor, chances are, you are not actually using enough of the product for it to be truly effective. While there is nothing wrong with using make-up containing SPF, I recommend first applying a moisturizer with SPF before “putting on your face”. 

Mask Brush. I love to mask. It’s one of my favorite night time rituals, that would not be complete without my favorite masks and a, dun dun dun...MASK BRUSH! In order to preserve product and apply just the right amount of mask, which should be slightly translucent, a mask brush is key. Make sure to clean thoroughly using warm water after each application. A few favorites are May Lindstrom’s Facial Treatment Brush, the Body Shop’s Mask Brush, and the Canyon Rose Bamboo Brush, all of which are eco-friendly.

Face Cloth. Having a hard time getting all that make-up off? Screw the Raccoon eyes, the q-tips, the make up remover that always seems to seep into your eyeball and try using a facial cloth while cleansing. In addition removing the excess dirt, oil and make-up, a good facial cloth will act as an exfoliant, removing dead skin surface cells and giving you a softer and more radiant complexion. Gently, and i do mean gently, wipe under the eyes to remove runny eye make-up. These cloths are also great for removing clay based masks. After use, rinse with warm water, wring out all excess product and hang to dry.  I am in love with the Binchotan Charcoal Face Scrub Towel and the Appearus Micro-bamboo Microfiber cloth.

Face Sponges. Great for applying toners, removing cleansers and masks, these reusable sponges are gentle on the skin and can be easily cleaned by giving them a thorough rinse and wring. Oh, and store them in a dry, sterile place. Available at your local rite aid or try Amazon for a great deal on these Fantasea Sponges.

Charcoal Toothbrush or Activated Charcoal Capsules. No need to spend a fortune on those gum hating, teeth aching white strips! Purchase a charcoal bristle tooth brush like this Binchotan Brush or open up an Activated Charcoal Capsule from your local drugstore or WholeFoods, pour it onto any old toothbrush and brush away!  While your mouth is turning black as night, the activated charcoal is working hard at removing impurities and stains. And don’t forget to mind the tongue, as we all know it’s a breeding ground for bad breath causing bacteria!

Charcoal Face Mask. If you are suffering from an over-abundance of blackheads, excess oil or an unsightly break out, throw away the pore strips, the chemical based acne cream, the harsh exfoliant and get yourself the Abura Charcoal Mask. Designed to purify and detoxify pores, while fighting harmful bacteria and soothing the skin, this mask was created to make you look your best!

Now of course, you need your toothpaste, your make-up, your favorite scent and whatever beauty products you just can't live without, I totally get it! But I do hope this checklist will provide some insight into cleaning out your vanity and for adding some new essentials to your arsenal of beauty. If you're having trouble finding the perfect skincare product, check out Abura Skincare and hopefully we can help you out! 

Beat the Winter Blues

kate forman

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Winter is among us and unless you are fortunate to live near the equator, you may be feeling the effects of winter depression. Seasonal Affective Disorder, also known as SAD effects 10-20% of people in the U.S. alone and includes symptoms such as:

  • Irritability

  • Tiredness or low energy

  • Problems getting along with other people

  • Hypersensitivity to rejection

  • Heavy, "leaden" feeling in the arms or legs

  • Oversleeping

  • Appetite changes, especially a craving for foods high in carbohydrates

  • Weight gain

Commencing at the end of fall and finally meeting its temporary demise in late spring, this havoc wreaking condition can feel like it goes on FOREVER. Don't let SAD be your temporary demise and utilize some of natures other gifts to beat these symptoms of depression.

1. Vitamin D

Oh the darkness! As the air gets colder and the nights get longer, thanks to that bloody time change, we lose one of nature's greatest gifts, the sunlight. Aside from literally brightening our days, the sun provides us with the almighty Vitamin D. Vitamin D is linked to Seratonin, which is our brains happy chemical. Supplement your diet with a Vitamin D pill, even if you are already taking a multi-vitamin.

2. Aromatherapy

If you don't already own a diffuser, go get one now! But if that's not in your budget, it doesn't mean that you can't benefit from the uplifting and soothing effects of essential oils. 70% of what you inhale will reach your bloodstream, so either inhale your essential oil directly from the bottle, put 2-3 drops of oil in a bowl or wine glass filled with water and place it next to your bed, or place several drops into your nightly bath in order to receive the benefits of aromatherapy. Another great idea is to purchase an empty rollerball perfume or spray bottle from your local Whole Foods or Amazon and create a perfume using a single or blend of essential oils, giving you and those around you the joy of actually carrying your aromatherapy with you everywhere you go! Here is a list of 7 essential oils that Abura recommends.

  1. Lavender

  2. Neroli (Orange Blossom)

  3. Bergamot

  4. Grapefruit

  5. Patchouli

  6. Sandalwood

  7. Sweet Orange

I strongly believe that it is the quality of the essential oil that counts and so I personally use Doterra or Aura Cacia Essential Oils at home and in Abura Products. My two personal favorite E.O.’s for when I am feeling the blues are Neroli and Sandalwood but I know that those are quite costly, so I frequently turn to Lavender, Bergamot or Patchouli when I am on a budget.

3. The Basics

Eat well, exercise, drink plenty of water and get some damn rest! These are the basics, folks, and it’s hard to live well without them. If you get the chance, take a brisk walk or go for a run during the few hours of strong sunlight. Trust me, your mind and body will thank you for it.