Archive | January 2012

Green Your Beauty Routine

Okay, I admit it.  I am not the best when it comes to recycling.  I don’t always separate the paper from the plastic and the glass and I don’t always use that green recycling bucket on trash day.  However, this year I made a commitment to be more diligent in my recycling habits, starting with my beauty routine.

I am sure you are already aware of the recycling program with M.A.C. Cosmetics. If you return six M.A.C primary packaging containers to either a M.A.C counter or online, you will receive a Free M.A.C lipstick of your choice.

What I didn’t know is that Kiehl and Aveda also have recycling programs.  Kiehl’s always accepts their bottles and containers for recycling, and sometimes they also offer a “thank you” freebie as an incentive.  Check with your local Kiehl retailer to get updates about the company’s recycling program.

Aveda, on the other hand, recycles caps to help eliminate the accumulation of plastic bottle caps in landfills, oceans and rivers.  The program collects rigid polypropylene plastic caps that show a “5” on the plastic or in the recycling arrows. These caps can be found on shampoo, water, soda, milk and other beverage bottles, flip top caps on tubes and food product bottles (such as ketchup and mayonnaise), laundry detergents and some jar lids such as peanut butter.

Are you looking for other ways to ‘green’ your beauty routine?

-Buy refill bottles for your hand soaps, shampoos and conditioners.  One bottle can last for years.  They are cheap if you get them from Wal-Mart or even your local Dollar Store.  Think of all the plastic you will be saving in the long run.

-Make use of hotel freebies.  I’ve been doing this for years.  Every time I go to a hotel, I hoard all the free shampoos, soaps and conditioners that are placed in the bathroom.  I not only keep them for future travel, but I also place them in a wicker basket in my guest bathroom.  It saves me and my guests from going through useless containers, plastic wrapping and bottles in beauty and skin care products.

How do YOU green your beauty routine?

Pamper Wisely,

The BusyBella


TLC for Winter Skin (Part Two)

If you are like me, you surround yourself with heat in the winter time.  It can never be to warm in my house and my showers can never be too hot.  But the downside is my skin suffers for it.  Dry, winter skin is always a problem for everyone this time of year.  But the good thing is there are some simple homemade remedies that can smooth the winter dryness away.  Here is part 2 of TLC for winter skin, just for your body.

Take warm, or lukewarm baths and showers.  This may not seem very inviting but hot water zaps your body of all its moisture and natural oils.

Take a warm, (not hot) soothing both with some moisturizing ingredients. Simply blend some baking soda, oatmeal, and vanilla extract in to a paste and mix it in a tub of warm water. Soak in the tub for as long as you like and say goodbye to dry skin. Smooth on some sesame oil or olive oil to seal in the moisture.  You can add a little lavender or rosemary oil for a nice, floral scent.  Grapeseed oil is also very effective for dry skin.

Another thing, make sure you moisturize IMMEDIATELY after stepping out of your shower or bath.  Don’t rub your skin with towel in order to get dry.  Blot instead,then apply your moisturizing lotion or oil on damp skin.

Make sure you drink plenty of water to keep hydrated.

Fill a pot with water water and put it on a slow boil on your stove. This will raise the humidity in your house.

Do you have any other ideas that have worked for you?

Pamper Wisely,

The BusyBella

TLC for Winter Skin (Part One)

I am sooooo not a winter person.  I hate the snow, ice, and especially the cold.  This time of the year also wrecks havoc on my skin…which gets terribly dry.  I LOVE hot showers, but it also zaps my skin of all its moisture.  If you are like me, you need a little extra TLC to keep your skin soft and smooth during this time of year.  If you don’t want to opt for expensive moisturizing body wraps or paraffin treatments at the day spa. try some of these great home remedies.


Does your face feel tight and itchy after you wash it?

Try this great recipe for dry skin which uses bananas:

1/4 cup plain yogurt

2 tablespoons honey

1 medium banana

Mash all ingredients together with a fork.

Smooth over entire face.
Leave on face for 10-15 minutes.

Here’s another recipe:

Mix an egg yolk

Teaspoon each of olive oil and orange joice

Add a couple drops of rose water and lime juice

Apply this mixture to your face and leave it on for 15 minutes before washing it off.


During this time of the year, you may not have to worry about showing off your feet in cute wedges or sandals.  But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t give your feet (more importantly, your heels) some special attention. Cold, dry winter weather are your skin’s worst enemy. Take the inside of your banana peels (from your banana face mask) and rub them on your heels.  They are are great for dry, cracked skin.

Paraffin Wax is a staple during my bi-weekly pedicure routine.  But in between my visits to the nail salon, I lather on a thick layer of cocoa butter and/or Vaseline on the soles of my feet.  Then, I slide on a pair of plush, cotton socks and go to bed.  In the morning, my feet are nice and smooth.  Another idea:  Add some baking soda to a tub of water and soak your feet for 15 to 20 minutes. This will also help soften dry, rough feet.  Add some warm milk for extra moisture.

In my next post, I will share some great natural remedies for dry skin all over your body.

Do you have ideas that have worked for you?  Please share.

Pamper Wisely,

The BusyBella

Got Free Samples???

If you are like me, you have TONS of half-used or barely-used hair and skin products in your bedroom or bathroom cabinets.  As much as I hate to admit it, I am a product junkie.  But I am fighting it every day!  🙂  The first step in getting over my expensive habit is to try more product sampling, FREE product sampling.  Not only does it help to cut down on costs, but it also gives me a chance to see if I truly like a product before I commit to buying it.  Here are some ideas on where and how to get some free samples:

1.  The best way to get a free sample every now and then, is to simply ASK.  The next time you visit your medical/day spa, dermatologist or hair stylist, ask for a free trial sample.  There is nothing wrong with wanting to see how your skin or hair will respond to a particular product before you buy it.  A sample is the best way to do this.  Also, these types of businesses get free samples all the time from their sales representative to give away to customers.  You won’t know if there are any available to you if you don’t ask.

2.  Aveda and Bath and Body Works is another great place to look.  They often have a free bottle of lotion or shampoo/conditioner for you to try.  The next time you pass one of these stores, ask their sales representatives if they have any free samples.

3.  Try these free sample websites.  These online communities and websites are wonderful resources for free samples and coupons to some of your favorite brands and products. (believe it or not, they offer free samples from time to time)

Just a word of caution, remember that every time you give out your email or home address you open yourself up to spam or unwanted advertising.  My suggestion is to limit your search to one or two websites to cut down on the spam.

Pamper Wisely,

The BusyBella

What your Hairstylist May or May NOT tell you:

Going to the hairstylist can be a very luxurious experience.  The scalp massages at the shampoo bowls, the deep conditioning treatments and the overall, polished finished look can make you look and feel like a million bucks.  Although your hair stylist can be a miracle worker in a pinch, there are some things you can do to trim down your big bill at checkout time. These are the things your hairstylist may or may NOT tell you:

Skip the Expensive Deep Conditioner-Who’s to say that you can’t deep condition at home the night before?  Sleep in your deep conditioner overnight before your next hair appointment.  Then when you head to the shampoo bowl at the salon, a shampoo and a regular, MOISTURIZING conditioner will be just fine. Skipping out on the DC treatment can save you upwards of $50…sometimes more.

Use Henna instead of Traditional Hair Color-Again, you can do this at home at a fraction of the cost.  Hennas can give you rich,deep hues of chestnuts, reds and indigos.  Another plus, it’s great for the overall condition of your hair.  Henna spares your hair from the harsh chemicals and bleach found in salon color.  I have been using henna in my hair for months and my hair stylist raves about the color every time she sees me.

The Cheap Products will work just fine-It’s tempting to want to buy the rich, expensive shampoos and conditioners in the glass cases at your salon.  You know the kind that can cost you 40 or 50 bucks for just one bottle!  Usually, the tried and true less expensive brands at your local drug store will work just fine, thank you.  Or, try this if you want to stretch the life of your expensive favorite conditioner.  Mix in a little of the cheapo brand to save yourself a little cash!

Pamper Wisely,

The BusyBella

A Homemade Herbal Bath

So…I have been out of pocket for the past week.  But I have a GREAT excuse.  I was in St. Thomas for a friend’s wedding.  I got some relaxation, A LOT of sun and of course some pampering.  Which leads me to today’s post.  While in St. Thomas, I got treated to a wonderful, therapeutic herbal bath at one of the local spas.  It was calming, soothing and left my skin feeling incredibly soft and smooth. I realize that not everyone can fly to St. Thomas for a nice, herbal bath.  But the good thing is, you can treat yourself to one right in the comfort of your own home.  Here’s an idea from

Making herbal baths is as easy as making a cup of herbal tea. First you need an infusion bag. A piece of muslin or cheesecloth works well. Place the herbs inside the center and tie the cloth together tightly with a length of string. Place the infusion bag in a bowl or large mug and pour in boiling water. Steep the brew for at least 10-15 minutes. (Basically you are steeping tea and then adding it to your bath.)

Use a combination of the following herbs—about ½ to 1 cup of each herb:

• Dried mint

• Dried lavender

• Dried chamomile

• Dried rosemary

• Dried rose petals

Here are a few ideas from me:  Add powdered milk as a moisturizer.  Or you can add two tablespoons of olive, almond,sunflower or coconut oil to seal in the moisture even more.

So…light a few candles, put on some soft, soothing music and take a steamy, hot herbal bath.  It will be the perfect weekend to do it!

Pamper Wisely,

Shani Blount

Beauty Must-Dos in 2012

So, here we are on the 2nd day of 2012.  You are ready to start a New Year with renewed focus and vigor.  Whether or not you believe in setting New Year’s Resolutions, everyone can benefit from making small improvements in their lives.  A little more attention here, a little more discipline there can lead to big changes over time. The same rule applies to your beauty care routine.  Sometimes it’s the small changes that tend to stick over time.  It’s the bigger goals that are the most challenging.  So, if you are looking for some ways to look even more beautiful over the next 12 months, consider the following beauty must-dos for the New Year.

Sleep on silk pillowcases-Not only is this good for your skin, but it’s also great protection for your hair.  Silk pillowcases keeps your skin hydrated and provides a soft, smooth surface for your face to rest at night.  Tossing and turning all night can take a toll on your hair.  Silk pillowcases helps prevent dry, brittle hair and split ends.  The best thing about it, they are relatively inexpensive.  Prices can range anywhere between $15 and $20.

Wash your face before bedtime-I used to be really bad about this one.  Sweat,dirt, grime and make-up left on your face all day is the perfect breeding ground for break-outs.  If you go to bed before washing your face, expect a pimple or two when you wake up. Do what I did.  As SOON as you get home, wash your face.  Don’t pass go, don’t sit down and watch television, don’t eat dinner.  Do it as soon as you get home from work, school or the gym.

Commit to daily Sunscreen AND Moisturizer-In my opinion, daily sunscreen is just as important as your moisturizer.  Even during the winter months when the sky is dark and gray, you still need sunscreen.  You don’t have to see or feel the sun in order to be exposed to harmful radiation.  Sunscreen AND moisturizer are your best defense against wrinkles, skin discoloration and pre-mature aging.

Good Luck on your 2012 Beauty Resolutions!

Pamper Wisely,

The BusyBella