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Fair warning. Expect holiday themed posts this week…approximately 4-5 more before New Years. 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-HoHoHo

How many of us already feel wrecked and haven’t even started the actual holiday hustle?

I lucked out this year and am having a small Christmas at home with my mom and her fiance here at my apartment in Northern Italy. Just a few meaningful gifts, a delicious dinner and too many deserts made by me (recepies coming soon!). However, even with this minimalistic christmas (and when I say that I mean it…stay tuned for my “tree”) I still feel like Bugs Bunny during rabbit season. In my case it probably has to do with a full 6 salon days before christmas day and attempting to get everything done in the evenings. Well tonight during and after baking I decided to take a little me spa time between the hours of 7 and 11:30 pm. Let me tell you…it was fantastic…(cue 50 something me in a bubble bath talking about how everything is fabulous, darling…)

The breakdown is simple, as I like most things to be, everything on this list you should be able to find already in your house, or at the corner market. Most women will complain about a few things because a) it is winter and b) it is the holidays and c) because they heard another woman in their lives mention it and now it has stuck. We have the…

“Lately my hair gets so dirty so fast….”

sugar in the raw,  fizzy water, sage (if avail)

Shampoo your hair with your regular shampoo but instead this time add a few packets of sugar in the raw and fluff all the build up on your scalp off…if could be anything from product to dead skin cells to you not getting a proper shampoo in a while…but either way it does the trick. Next step to help your sudiferous glands (sweat glands)…make some tea out of a few sage leaves and pour it over your hair making sure to work it into your scalp, let sit for a little bit and then rinse with room temp mineral water….

Guarenteed to elongate time between shampoos!

“My skin is so dull, I lost my summer glow, maybe I should get a spray tan or go lay in a tanning bed…”

large sea salt, pure coconut milk

First of all, I am guilty of the later two options, and you know what happens…you look like an oompa loompa. By all means like I have said before, do you, and if you is orange well then oompa luumpa, doompadah dee if you are wise you’ll listen to me! But in all seriousness, most of us are not as effective showerers as we think. What does this mean? Well basically between hard water, product build up and other elements your skin has a layer of fluff blocking its natural glow which does not need to be created artificially, it is winter…its okay to be fair skinned! So lets try this…fill a bath with hot water if you are lucky enough to have one..if not steam your bathroom nice and hot with your shower, let your skin soften up and scrub away! Oh. Im sorry is it supposed to be more complex that that? Salt is a natural disinfectant so not only are you exfoliating but you are killing gnarly winter germs AND added bonus salt on the outside of your body REDUCES swelling…so bloating and tense mucles be gone! It is also super effective on areas prone to orange peel skin!

Once your done do a luke warm rinse and then apply pure coconut milk all over let set and then rinse, at the very end of your shower give yourself a shot of cool water….

Now try telling me you aren’t glowing. . .

“My face is ravaging it self, it must be because I am not spending all that time in the ocean water guide me to a heavy coverage foundation stat!”

blueberries (or any other antioxidant fruit)milk and cornstarch

This is my own winter hardship, my face seems to love the salt water and sun. Unfortunantly a) thats not good in the long run and b) I now live in a place with 4 traditional seasons…3 of which are not condusive to daily beaching. However lately I have found that a salt scrub followed by a mask made of blueberries, cornstarch and a little milk seems to calm my face right down when its having a hissy fit.

I prefer to “mush” the antioxidant fruit of choice with a mortar and pestal, and then slowly add cornstarch and milk, alternating. I make it fresh because these things go best this way. After a light salt scrub soak face with hot towel and then apply mask, leave until hard and then wipe off in shower, end with a cool rinse.

Avoid your desire to eat it! It looks like a parfait but definently doesn’t taste like one…not that I would know….

“Can you gain weight in your feet? I swear my heels don’t fit!”

cucumbers, tea tree oil, Jamaica Dogwood (if not, don’t worry, be happy…get it?)

For once, you really aren’t fat…you really are just bloated. Swollen feet is a sign of poor circulation which often comes form standing on your feet to long. Besides the obvious suggestions of taking up yoga or wearing tights that aide in circulation (yes, just like grandma Etta), there is another option.

Clearly I understand your circulation pain…both phsically, emotionally and mentally. I can be on my feet for 14 hour days non stop…and often in some sort of heel. Now before you yell at me I suffer from horrid siatic pains and heels are the only thing that align my back correctly. Recently though I have had chronic circulation problems. But luckily nature provides!

Take some sliced cucumbers (known for a cooling effect and reducing swelling) and soak them in a tub of water with an abundant helping of tea tree oil, place in fridge and let it get nice and chilly, the freezer isn’t a bad option either. If both your fridge and freezer are to small for the tub of water, use cold sink water and add ice cubes. In the meanwhile prepare another tub with HOT water with the jamaica dogwood brewed into it (you can find it at most health food stores but please avoid if you are on any sort of medication as it increases sweating). Now, start by soaking your feet in the hot water and switch back and forth. Once the hot water cools off leave your feet in the cool water, do not rinse. As an option place the tea tree soaks cucumber slices on your feet and wrap them with seran wrap and leave on.

“I always gain weight in the winter…”

anise and camomile tea

Listen, you probably do…but honestly…who cares? Would you rather be the bitter person staring at the cookies eating from the veggie platter…or the happy person munching and mingling with a little more cushion for the pushin’. Yes. I just said that. So, remember, you are running around like a mad-woman (person) and you are probably also buring more calories trying to stay warm, brrrrr. Now this doesnt mean you have a free pass every day to eat whatever whenever, when you are full, stop, when you don’t really want to eat it, don’t. But a little tip? Tea it up!  Our bodies actually burn alot of calories while sleeping and our metabolism works better if we get the right amount of hours of sleep evernight, which is 7-8. So if the holiday stress is giving you a hard time when your trying to fall asleep…try out some camomile tea, granted if a zanax is more your usual style…this may not help at all. Another great tea for this season is Anise tea…it has great digestive properties and if you aren’t into tangy ginger this is the way to go. It gets rid of bloating, tastes great and can be purchased in loose leaf form for realll cheap!

I hope these tips helped you out, I know they have been making my holiday season feel a little less hectic! Tomorrow I will be gearing up to bring you cute last minute christmas craft ideas (get your craft corner ready!…kidding…sort of) and 3 ways to get longevity out of your Christmas Eve blow dry! Send me asks if you have any questions about New Years Hair/Make-up/Travel/Styling  tips, tricks or ideas!