Mallory Sills

Winter Skin Care For Darker Skin Tones

woman smiling close up

The winter tends to have a different effect on our skin than the other seasons, which is why it’s so important that we make necessary adjustments to our skin care routines.  Regardless of your skin tone or type it’s essential to make sure that you’re keeping your skin care routine consistent to YOUR skin’s needs.  We all have different needs for our skin, if you have a darker skin tone you’ve probably noticed some changes in your skin during the winter months.  We thought we would share some of our favorite winter skin care for darker skin tones to help ensure your skin is glowing and vibrant all winter long.

Increase Your Moisturizing Routine
We don’t have to tell you that your skin is likely feeling quite a bit more dry this time of year, typically darker skin tones tend to notice dryness in the skin pretty quickly.  This is why it’s crucial to make sure your moisturizing routine is in check this time of year.  Most experts suggest switching your moisturizing products to those that are much more thick and creamy since your skin needs the extra boost this time of year.  Make sure you’re applying a moisturizer to your skin every morning and evening, and for the best results for moisturizing your entire body – apply a quality moisturizer right after you get out of the shower when your skin is soft.

woman shower

Watch Your Showers
Like we said above, we all tend to get pretty dry this time of year and the weather tends to be really dry.  In addition, with the cooler temperatures outside, we all have a tendency of wanting to hop into a hot shower for a while to warm up.  If that’s you, you’re going to need to make a little adjustment.  The hot water, and being in the hot water for too long can cause your skin to become even more dry and strip it of its natural oils.  We get it’s tempting and feels great, but switching up your shower routine to only around 5 minutes and keeping the water temperature to warm instead of hot is going to do wonders for your skin.

Don’t Skip the SPF
Even if you have darker skin tone, it is important to make sure you’re applying SPF on a daily basis.  So many with darker skin feel that this is a skin care step they can skip, but experts suggest that everyone, regardless of your skin tone, needs to be applying SPF on a daily basis.  Yes, that even means during the winter months.  Although the sun may not seem to be as strong or out as long as during the winter months it can still do damage to your skin.  So make sure that you’re applying SPF to your skin on a daily basis to protect your skin all winter long.

Finally, we can’t forget to mention the importance of making sure that you’re being gentle on your skin. While it’s tempting to be a bit more harsh and use products that are a bit on the harsh side because our skin is so dry, resist the temptation and make sure you’re gentle.

Mallory Sills

Foods That Won’t Make You Feel Better When You Are Sick

The winter season is known for the weather changes, the holiday season and of course…the sick season.  We don’t like to focus on the negatives around here, but it’s no secret that people tend to get sick more often this time of year.  Of course, when you’re sick, it’s all about getting rest, drinking a lot of fluids and taking any necessary vitamins/medicine to speed up your recovery.  But it’s also important to make sure you’re eating, as difficult as it may seem at times when you’re not feeling so well.  We thought we would chat about the foods that won’t make you feel better when you are sick, because there’s a lot of chatter out there about what foods WILL but not enough about the ones that won’t.

bowls of candy

Sugar and Sweets
If you’re feeling sick, you obviously don’t want the foods that you eat to make you feel any worse.  Many experts suggest that eating sugar and dessert like foods can often make you feel worse.  Why?  Sugar is known to cause inflammation in the body and negatively affect the immune system – so it can seriously make you feel worse than you did before.  Not to mention, if your stomach is feeling a bit out of sorts the sugar can cause it to feel even more uneasy.

Greasy Foods
So often when you start to feel a bit better when you’re sick, we all want to jump to enjoy some greasy foods like burgers and fries – and it always seems like those commercials are on when you’re resting in bed.  But as tempting as it can be, experts suggest avoiding those types of foods until you’re actually better.  Why?  Greasy foods tend to be rough on the stomach and digestive system, causing you to feel worse and your stomach end up feeling pretty tore up.

bowl of spicy thai food

Spicy Foods
There’s a lot of chatter about spicy foods being great to help with congestion if you’re dealing with that, but regardless of whether or not you have congestion many experts have said that spicy foods really won’t help you feel any better when you’re sick.  The reason is because spicy food tends to be a bit too rough on your stomach and digestive system.  When you’re sick and your body is working to recover, you don’t want to eat anything that can cause your stomach to become upset or uncomfortable, so it’s really best to avoid spicy foods while you’re sick.

Acidic Foods
We all always hear about drinking orange juice when we’re sick for the vitamin C, however, it tends to be pretty acidic and can cause your stomach to feel pretty upset.  This goes for all acidic foods/beverages, because they’re quite similar to greasy and spicy foods in that they’re quite unsettling to the stomach and tend to make you feel worse.  Experts suggest opting out of drinking or eating acidic foods for that very reason and choose some other options to keep your stomach settled.

Mallory Sills

Realistic Beauty Goals for 2017

We’re almost a month into 2017, and so many of us have started to set goals for ourselves for the new year.  Whether you’re about resolutions/goals or not, there’s something about the start of a new year that has so many of us reevaluating certain areas of our lives that we would like to improve and take steps to actually improving them.  So often we can get caught up in goals that aren’t quite realistic, especially in the beauty department.  If you’re feeling like you’d like to step up your beauty life this year, we came up with some realistic beauty goals for 2017 to help get you started.

makeup bag contents

Go Through Your Makeup Bag
Let’s be honest, so many of us know and have heard that it’s important to go through and get rid of makeup that’s expired or should be replaced…but few of us actually do it.  Which is why this is one of the realistic beauty goals for 2017, because it’s time to start going through that makeup bag!  It’s not something you have to do every week, or even every month.  But take some time to go through all of your makeup and get rid of anything that’s expired, old or you just don’t even use/like.  Makeup and cosmetics do have an expiration date to them (you can do a quick internet search to find out specifics), primarily because as we use makeup, it begins to develop bacteria and oil – which can wreak havoc on your skin if you don’t switch it out when it needs to be.

Get Consistent With Your Skin Care
Having a skin care routine is so important to really keeping your skin healthy, happy and glowing.  But it’s not enough to just have a skin care, you also need to make sure you’re consistent with it.  Make it a goal for yourself to be consistent in cleansing, toning and moisturizing your skin every morning and evening.  Yes, that means to do it after a long day or night out too!  In addition, get into the habit of consistently exfoliating your skin with a quality exfoliating product 2-3 times per week.  There are so many incredible benefits to exfoliating but so many tend to skip it.  Get consistent with your skin care routine in 2017, you’ll notice your skin is going to begin to thrive and glow when you’re able to be more regimented about it all.

woman bed with water

Make Sleep and Water a Priority
We know we’re not the first to tell you that sleep and water are essential to our health and wellness.  But even though so many of us know that they’re important, we’re still slacking a bit.  This year, make it a goal for yourself and your beauty to get more sleep and drink more water.  Actually, make them a priority.  Both sleep and water do wonders for our skin, nails, hair and overall health – the benefits go on and on, don’t you think it’s time to start reaping the benefits of them?


Mallory Sills

Exercises That Improve Your Lung Capacity

Our lungs and their health play a major role in our overall health.  Clearly, if we struggle to breathe it puts a damper on our health as a whole.  If you’re eager to really ensure that your lungs are healthy and have a higher capacity, you’re going to want to start taking some steps to help increase their health.  One really great way to do that is to start doing some specific exercises that improve your lung capacity.  We realize you may not be a professional trainer or doctor, so we thought with the new year it was the perfect time to share some health tips since so many of us are reeling in our focus on our health.

woman deep breathing

Standing Breathing
Here’s the thing, since our lungs are so influenced by breathing we need to do certain breathing exercises in order to improve our lung capacity.  Experts suggest one of the types of exercises to do this is to do a standing breathing exercise.  It’s quite simple, all you need to do is stand up and breath out – you’re going to want to get all the air out of your lungs here.  Once you’ve released all the air from your lungs you want to slowly start to breathe in to fill your lungs as much as you possibly can.  After you’ve then filled your lungs as much as possible, hold the air in your lungs for a few seconds (some suggest 10-20 seconds) and then SLOWLY begin to release the air from your lungs to then repeat the process all over again.  Most suggest to repeat this cycle for 3-5 times to really get the best benefit from your efforts.

Stomach Breathing
The standing breathing exercises are great, but that’s not the only exercise to help with lung capacity.  To go about stomach breathing exercises you need to be in a laying position on your back, as flat as possible but make sure you’re comfortable.  Once you’re comfortable you can start breathing, but the key here is to breathe in through your stomach area (hold your hand on your stomach to help as a guide if you need), when doing this you will notice that your stomach will rise.  After you’ve breathed in through your nose, you’ll want to hold that air in your lungs for 5-10 seconds.  Once you’ve held the breath for a few seconds, you can begin to release the air slowly.  Most experts suggest to slowly release the air to a 5-8 count to help you really slow down the breath.  Some suggest to even take it a bit further and really ensure that you’ve released all the air from your lungs you can tighten your stomach muscles.  Repeat the cycle at least 5 times to really get the most of your efforts.

Try making it a habit to repeat these exercises as often as you can to really begin to improve your lung capacity and help your health overall.

Mallory Sills

Your Daily Cup of COJ

cup of coffee

Coffee is definitely something that’s a commonly consumed beverage throughout a lot of the world.  For years there’s been a debate on whether or not drinking coffee daily is beneficial or hurtful to your health.  However, it turns out your daily cup of joe can have some pretty great benefits.  If you’re like us, you love starting your morning with a fresh cup of joe – like so many of us do.  Now, you don’t have to feel bad (in case you did) for drinking up your daily cup of joe tomorrow morning.  Because there ARE some great benefits.

It’s Loaded with Antioxidants
As it turns out, coffee is loaded with antioxidants.  Pretty great, right?  Since so many of us don’t truly get enough antioxidants into our daily diet, drinking up that daily cup of joe is a great way to get a nice boost.  Just to give you a little refresh – antioxidants are great for fighting inflammation in the body along with helping to fight free radicals that can cause cancer.

It Can Boost Your Metabolism
Thanks to our friend caffeine, many experts have found that having a daily cup of coffee can give the body a great boost to the metabolism.  Anytime we boost our metabolism, it helps with aiding our body in burning fat – how great is THAT?  Of course, it’s not the answer to all of your weight loss answers, but it’s nice to know that a daily cup of joe can help give a little boost to your metabolism and help burn a little extra fat.

 hands holding coffee

Helps with Focus and Energy
Ok, so if you drink water you may be completely aware of this, but we had to mention it as a benefit because being more focused and energized is SUCH a great benefit of drinking coffee.  So many of us are constantly on the go and it’s easy to feel distracted and low on energy – the caffeine that’s in coffee is a great benefit to helping with both of these aspects.

Can Help Fight Depression
Depression is a widely growing struggle among so many people, but what you may not realize is that research has shown that drinking coffee daily has been found to help fight depression among many people.  A lot of this is because there are certain things in coffee that have been found to boost and stimulate our moods, when we’re in a better mood, it’s much less likely that we become depressed.  Incredible, right?

Can Lower the Risk of Type II Diabetes
Diabetes a big concern among many people, and unfortunately a disease that’s growing significantly among much of the population.  However, if you’re a coffee drinker, you may be in luck.  It turns out that drinking a daily cup of joe has been found to lower insulin sensitivity in the body – that being said, it’s been found that many people who drink coffee are less likely to develop Type II diabetes.

Mallory Sills

Polynesian Inspired Beauty Tips

Anytime you hear about anything Polynesian inspired, it sounds pretty beautiful – doesn’t it?  We thought so, too.  It got us thinking about Polynesian women and it’s always interesting…fascinating really to look at the beauty tips that women of other countries and areas really live by.  We thought it would be fun to look into some of the Polynesian inspired beauty tips – because it’s always fun to discover what’s popular in other areas to see what might work for you.  Odds are, you’ve heard a lot of the popular beauty tips that are popular in the United States, so it’s time to take some beauty inspiration from the Polynesian women.

aloe vera

Using Aloe Vera for Skin
You’ve probably heard of aloe vera being great for health and certain skin concerns, but it’s said that in Polynesian culture aloe vera is a commonly used product for skin on a regular basis – not just when you’re having a struggle of some kind.  Because aloe vera is such a great product for adding moisture and relief to skin for so many different things, it’s definitely at the top of the list for Polynesian inspired beauty tips.  Using aloe vera for your skin – if you struggle with any sort of skin sensitivity or dryness it’s phenomenal.  It’s even been said to help with acne and burns.  Adding aloe vera can be a great way to get a little tropical inspiration into your beauty routine.  The bonus is that’s it’s a powerful natural product.

Using Seaweed
When thinking of seaweed, odds are you think of sushi.  But it turns out that Polynesian women have been going to seaweed as a beauty assistant of sorts.  Because seaweed is filled with so many great vitamins, minerals and nutrients, it’s been found to work wonders on our skin.  Let’s face it, our skin needs a lot of nutrients and vitamins to function properly and look the way that we want it to.  If you want a real Polynesian inspired beauty tip, it’s to starting incorporating more seaweed into your daily diet to start reaping some of the benefits for your skin.  Many believe that seaweed’s nutrients have been able to help your skin appear more youthful and glowing.  So THAT’S how the Polynesian ladies are getting that gorgeous glow.

coconut oil

Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is something that’s grown in popularity in the United States, but the Polynesian people have been using coconut oil for many, many years.  Coconut oils is an incredibly powerful product to use on your skin AND hair to add moisture and it’s said to be incredibly helpful for anti-aging benefits on the skin.  It’s said that Polynesian people have been using coconut oil for its anti-aging benefits for a long time, it’s great because it is a natural oil – and incredibly versatile.  Adding coconut oil into your skin and hair care routine is a great way to add some Polynesian inspiration into your beauty regimen.

Polynesian women seem to have some pretty great beauty tips and secrets – which of these are you going to try out for yourself?

Mallory Sills

What To Do When You Have Razor Burn

woman shaving legs

Razor burn, it’s one of those things that can just creep up when you least expect it.  If you shave any area of your body, you’ve likely had razor burn at least once or twice in your life.  Even if you try to be cautious when shaving and paying attention to the state of your razor, it can happen to the best of us.  Of course, even though having razor burn can be a part of the shaving life you want to know how to get rid of it and help it heal so you’re not having to deal with it longer than you have to.  We’re sharing tips on what to do when you have razor burn so you’re fully prepared the next time there’s a little slip up.

Aloe vera has grown to become one of the most widely used methods to helping to heal razor burn in a natural way.  Aloe vera is great because it’s natural, and found to be incredibly soothing to the skin.  You can use natural aloe vera that you find from an actual aloe vera plant, or using an aloe vera gel product to apply to the area.  All you need to do is make sure that you apply a bit of the aloe to the razor burn area that’s being affected.  You will likely notice that your skin feels some soothing elements, in addition to aloe vera being really soothing on irritated skin it’s also found to be really great for inflammation – not to mention aloe vera is found to be really hydrating on the skin, which is really what helps to add the soothing elements to the area.  Since razor burn tends to result in some inflammation – both attributes do wonders for helping with razor burn.

While aloe vera is great for soothing and eliminating some inflammation in the skin, it’s important to make sure that you’re not doing anything that can cause further irritation on the skin.  Since your skin is already in an irritated state, you’ll want to be careful with any products that you use on the area.  This means avoiding any products with fragrances or wearing any clothing that cause additional rubbing on the irritated area or can be too tight.  You’ll want to allow your skin to heal on its own and try to avoid daily habits that can sometimes cause additional irritation.

Next time you have some razor burn turn up in an area in your skin make sure you apply these tips to help soothe the area to give yourself some relief.  Of course, don’t forget to make sure that you’re practicing healthy shaving habits.  Don’t ever shave on dry skin – make sure that your skin is damp and you use some product that can act as a shaving cream/lotion to give your skin a barrier.  In addition, it’s essential to make sure that you switch out your razor consistently to avoid using a dull razor.

Mallory Sills

Managing Dandruff And Dry Itchy Scalp

woman scratching head

Since we’re now in the middle of the winter season you’ve probably started to notice a lot of the dryness that comes with the winter season.  While typically we think of experiencing dry skin and lips, many people tend to also experience dryness in their scalp.  Experiencing dandruff and dry itchy scalp can be frustrating and a bit embarrassing if you’re having a lot of flakiness.  If you’ve been trying different things to try to manage it but still can’t quite find lasting results, we’re sharing our favorite tips for managing dandruff and dry itchy scalp to keep your scalp on check this winter season.

Massage Your Scalp
Let’s face it…when we hop in the shower to wash our hair and bodies we’re typically in a bit of a hurry to get it done as quickly as possible.  But the thing about washing your hair is it’s the perfect time to give your scalp a little extra TLC.  Our scalp tends to get neglected on a regular basis when it comes to really caring for it.  Many experts suggest taking some time in the shower to massage your scalp can do wonders for helping dry itchy scalp and dandruff issues.  Massaging your scalp thoroughly can help to remove any build up you may have from product and oil.

Enlist in Hair Treatment
Another one of the best ways to help manage dandruff and a dry, itchy scalp is to enlist the help of a hair mask.  You’re going to want to look for a hair mask that’s specifically formulated for adding moisture and hydration to your hair and scalp.  This is a great way to get a deep hydration element into your scalp and hair to help manage the extreme dryness you may be having.  Get into the routine of doing this 1-2 times per week for the best results.

woman drinking water

Stay Hydrated
You’ve probably heard that one of the best ways to help with dryness in your skin is to maintain hydration by drinking water, and that holds true with your scalp as well.  If you’re noticing a lot of dryness in your scalp, up your water intake.  Remember that your scalp is another portion of your skin so it’s just as affected by the lack of water and hydration in your body as any other part of your body/skin.  Most people tend to not drink enough water throughout the day.  Drinking more water is a great way to get more hydration to your skin and scalp in a really natural way.

Use Specially Formulated Shampoo
Of course, another great way to help manage dandruff and a dry, itchy scalp is to use a specifically formulated shampoo product.  Because many people experience dry itchy scalp and dandruff there are a ton of different shampoo options available on the market that work wonders.  Since they’re formulated to work with your specific hair/scalp struggle they’re going to help add moisture in the way that your scalp needs.  When using this type of shampoo make sure you spend a little extra time working and massaging it into your scalp.


5 Habits that Age Your Skin

woman looking at face in mirror

Worried about showing signs of aging on your skin?  You’re not alone. Let’s face it – most of us are worried about our skin developing signs of aging.  What you may not realize is that some of the habits that you have may be causing your skin to age, or appear to look more aged. We’re discussing 5 habits that age your skin so you can be in the know with any of the habits that you may have that are affecting your skin’s aging process.

Not Removing Your Makeup 
Look, we totally get that after a long day or night out on the town the last thing you want to do is take a few more minutes to take your makeup off before hitting the pillow for bed.  However, when you DON’T take those few extra minutes to remove your makeup before going to bed, it’s a habit that can age your skin pretty quickly.  When you don’t remove your makeup, you’re not allowing your skin to breathe and get any environmental factors off your skin that you may have been exposed to throughout the day.  So before you get to bed, make sure you’re taking your makeup off every night.

Woman sleeping.

Not Getting Enough Sleep 
We understand that it’s much easier to say that you need to get enough skin than actually be able to get it.  We definitely live in a world that’s constantly on the go, and doesn’t get nearly enough sleep.  However, our skin needs sleep to be able to recover and repair itself – especially from the aging process.  When we’re asleep our bodies work to repair itself, so naturally when we’re not getting enough sleep our bodies aren’t able to work to do their thing to keep from aging quicker.

Not Using the Right Products  
Using skin care products is an important part of keeping your skin from aging, however, it’s not enough to just use any skin care products.  Not using quality skin care products, or products that are specifically formulated to work with your skin type can definitely impact the way our skin ages – if we’re not giving our skin the necessary products and treatments it can counteract all the effort.

Woman applying face cream

Not Protecting it From The Sun 
Experts have found that the biggest factor that plays into skin aging is damage caused by the sun’s rays.  That being said, when we don’t protect our skin from the sun it ages our skin tremendously.  If you’re not applying SPF to your skin on a daily basis, it’s time to break that habit and get on track to make sure that you’re protecting your skin and helping to avoid falling into this habit that ages your skin.

Not Treating All Areas of Your Skin
Finally, one of the habits we notice many people fall into with their skin aging is not treating all the areas of their skin equally.  Specifically, most people tend to neglect their chest, neck and hands – which is often why these areas are known to show signs of aging much quicker.  So make sure you’re treating ALL of your skin equally.

Mallory Sills

Quick Fixes For Zipper, Hems and Other Fashion Emergencies

If you’ve ever been faced with a fashion emergency situation, you know they always strike at the worst possible time.  Let’s face it, that’s probably why they’re referred to as a fashion emergency.  While having a little fashion emergency mishap is bad enough, it’s even worse when you’re not prepared with how to fix them in a quick manner.  The great thing about fashion emergencies is there are other people who have experienced them as well, so there are many people who have sought out to find and develop quick fixes to be better prepared the next time it happens.  We’re sharing some of the best quick fixes for zippers, hems and other fashion emergencies so you’re fully prepared.

clothing repair

Zipper Fixes
Do you have a zipper that’s stuck?  One of the easiest ways to help get a stuck zipper moving, may shock you.  Many people have found that simply running a pencil (yep, those old school pencils) over the zipper up and down a couple times is often all you need to get it moving.  If that doesn’t work you can try using something that has a little more lubrication to it like windex, lip balm or even soap.  It’s suggested to just be sure that you don’t use anything that’s oil based as it can get your garment oily.

Hem Fixes
Whether you find that your skirt, dress or pants hems are too long, or the hem has come undone slightly – having a hem line that’s not quite right can definitely be a downer on your entire outfit.  Fortunately, there are some pretty easy fixes.  Our favorite go to fix for a hem line fix is to simply use a double sided tape to hold the garment’s hem in place for a temporary fix.  If you don’t have any double sided tape on hand, you can use regular tape to secure the hem in place for a temporary amount of time until you’re able to get it fixed.  Another great option is to use a safety pin to hold the hem in place – you’ll want to apply the safety pin so the largest portion of it is inside the garment facing your skin so it doesn’t show much.

Other Fashion Emergencies
We know that there are a wide range of different fashion emergencies that you may be faced with, so we thought we would cover a couple of the most common to keep you informed.  If you’ve noticed that a button from your blouse popped or came off one of the easiest ways to fix it in a pinch is to also use double sided tape or a safety pin – similar to a hem fix.  Since it’s the winter time you’re probably wearing more tights or stockings and no one likes to find that they’ve gotten a snag or run in their tights for the day/evening.  If you find you’ve gotten a spot one of the easiest ways to fix the snag is to apply a small amount of clear nail polish to both sides of the tear/run/hole.  This will keep the spot from getting any bigger.