3 Ways to Update a Ponytail

3 easy ways to update a ponytail The list of things us ladies have to do before we get out the door every morning is basically the longest, most exhausting list known to mankind (or should I say ‘womankind’?). Pluck eyebrows, color roots, paint nails, apply makeup, lather up with lotion, style hair…..can I go back to just being a tomboy?! Obviously with so much to do it can be easy to get into a (boring) routine, especially when it comes to hair. My morning hair routine dialogue usually goes a little something like “Ugh I hate my hair! Why is my hair not doing anything I want it to do? $67%$$*&t&5& (lots of expletives)!!!! No one invited you to this hair party frizz! Whatever! I’ll just put it up into a messy bun like I do every.single.day!” Clearly, I need help. Enter these 3 ways to update a ponytail. They are by no means anything new or extraordinary but they are a great reminder that hair doesn’t have to be boring or complicated and it most certainly doesn’t have to be in a rut.

Ponytail with Hair Twist // Style your hair into a ponytail as you normally would. From one side, section off a small (about 1/4″ to 1/2″) piece of hair. Wrap it around your ponytail elastic. When you get to the hair ends secure them underneath your ponytail with a bobby pin.

ponytail how-to hair twist ponytail

Ponytail Braid // Style your hair into a ponytail as you normally would. Gently braid your hair, then secure the end with a hair elastic.

ponytail braid how-to braided ponytail braided ponytail hairstyle

Jasmine Ponytail // Style your hair into a ponytail as you normally would. Then, about every 2-3″ add another hair elastic. Continue adding hair elastics until you have only 2-3″ left at the end (for my hair I use 2-3 hair ties, depending on how I want them spaced).

jasmine-style ponytail Jasmine Ponytail

How To Clean Makeup Brushes

how to clean makeup brushes I must confess that when it comes to cleaning makeup brushes I’ve been committing two major sins. For starters, I’ve been cleaning them with dish soap….as in the soap you wash dishes with….as in something that shouldn’t be put on your face…as in what-was-this-girl-with-sensitive-skin-thinking. There’s just so many issues with that that I’m just going to keep moving right along to sin number two. I almost never wash my brushes. And all that I have to say about that is…..*cringe*. Needless to say, this recent bout of skin issues gave me a little reminder that maybe cleaning my brushes, NOT with dish soap, would be a good idea. So I revamped my routine (not that you can call dish soap every 6 months a routine) to one that would be better suited for my sensitive and highly allergic skin (no harsh soaps needed) and for my brushes (the oil is good for moisturizing and helping your brushes last longer). Here’s how to clean makeup brushes naturally and safely-

Olive oil (You can also use hemp seed oil)
A mild, chemical-free fragrance-free castille soap (I use Dr. Bronner’s baby soap)
Small bowls
A towel

1. Prep a work area in which to clean your brushes. Lay out your towel, fill a small bowl with a few drops of olive oil, and fill another bowl with warm water and a few drops of soap. (This picture below is of some of the brushes before they are cleaned.)

How To Clean Makeup Brushes (natural + good for sensitive & allergy prone skin) || Runway Chef 2. Take your first brush and start swishing it around in the olive oil, slightly pressing down on the brush as you go. Do this for a few seconds, or until the color stops coming out of the bristles. 

how to naturally clean makeup brushes 3. Next, swirl the brush around in the soapy water. Because oil and water don’t mix (just in case you forgot) the makeup should come off in little bubbles (although this won’t be as noticeable for things like eye shadow and blush).

how to clean makeup brushes if you have sensitive skin 4. Give the brush a final rinse under plain warm water, then pat it dry with the towel. If it seems like more makeup is still on the bristles, repeat the rinsing process again. If not, leave it laying out for at least 6 hours so it can fully dry.

how to clean makeup brushes 5. Repeat until all of your brushes are clean, changing out the oil and soapy water every few brushes. For the best results, I find that I can do all my eyeliner/eyeshadow/powder brushes with one batch of oil and water, but for foundation brushes I need to switch out the oil and the water each time. The foundation brushes also require a little more oil and soap as well as more pressure on the brush and really using your hands to get all the makeup off. (This picture below is an after shot of the brushes from the first picture now that they are all clean.)

how to clean makeup brushes naturally If you need to brush up on your makeup brush basics (i.e. which ones you need and which brushes to use for what), see here.

Healthy Living- Detox Water

Detox Water As promised, I wanted to share more about my skin routine and the different things I do to keep it healthy in the most natural and organic way possible. While I will eventually get to what I put ‘on’ my skin, I think it is more important to start with what you put ‘in’ your skin, as I believe true beauty comes from within (both physically and emotionally). There are two parts to what I put into my body for healthy skin: vitamins (which we will discuss later) and detox waters. Two out of three of these detox drinks use water and simple house hold items. In fact, they seem so simple you might even wonder if they make a difference. I’ve done plenty of research over the years and have pulled some facts together so you can make your own educated decision, but in my opinion detox water definitely makes a difference.

Lemon Detox Water

Lemon Water 

8 ounces of water + Juice of half of lemon (can be diluted more to suit your tastes)

Every morning I roll out of bed, brush my teeth, and then grab a glass of lemon water. Every.single.morning. My skin has started to glow just a little bit more, and I’ve noticed my morning breathe growing fainter and fainter. Here are some other benefits:

  • Packed with vitamin C, citric acid, potassium (nourishes brain and nerve cells as well as your heart), calcium, phosphorus, magnesium
  • Lemon juice in a glass of warm water first thing in the morning helps flush out toxins and replenishes body salts (also good after a workout)
  • Aids in the production of bile and digestive juices which aids in your digestion and also relieves indigestion symptoms
  • Enhances enzyme function which stimulates your liver and aids in cleansing your system
  • Helps prevent wrinkles and acne and promotes clear skin
  • The pectin fiber in lemon is beneficial for colon health as well as an appetite suppressant thus helping you lose weight
  • Lemon is a powerful antibacterial and helps aid against the common cold as well as the growth of pathogenic bacteria that cause infections and disease
  • Gives you an energy boost which is helpful for those trying to cut caffeine
  • Maintains healthy eyes and fights against eye health problems
  • It balances and maintains healthy pH levels in your body
  • Dissolves uric acids which helps reduce pain and inflammation in your joints and knees 

Please note: One side effect of lemon water can be its harsh effect on your teeth enamel. It is recommended that you brush your teeth prior to drinking lemon water and then do not brush again until at least 3 hours after. You can also swish plain water around your mouth after drinking your lemon water. You can read more about the benefits of lemon detox water here and here.

Apple Cider Vinegar detox water

Vinegar Water

8 ounces of water + 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar (make sure it is unfiltered)


8 ounces of seltzer water + 1 tablespoon of vinegar + a splash of juice (typically cranberry juice…you want some that is 100% juice with nothing added)

The benefits of drinking vinegar water are similar to lemon water. It’s great for detoxing and it’s also high in potassium. I find that drinking vinegar detox water helps me to stay detoxed and debloated. Some other benefits include:

  • Apple cider vinegar has all the same benefits that apples do, meaning it is packed with enzymes, amino acids, antioxidants, beta carotene, calcium, iron, pectin, silicon and potassium.
  • It helps keep blood pressure low
  • It can aid in the prevention of colon cancer
  • Apple cider vinegar helps lower glucose levels which in turn can help with diabetes
  • It also aids with weight loss by acting as an appetite suppressant, reducing water retention, increase metabolism, and helping with digestion

Please note: To receive these benefits you must use apple cider vinegar that is raw, unfiltered, unpasteurized, made from organic apples, and includes something about ‘the mother’ (aka the translucent film floating around in the vinegar) on the label. The brand I like to use is Bragg’s, which you can find online, at Whole Foods, or any other health store or specialty market. You can read more about the benefits of apple cider vinegar detox water here.

Dermal Health Detox water

Herb Pharm Dermal Health Drops 

8 ounces of water + 1 dropper of Dermal Health, 3x a day

While this compound is also great for detoxing your system and keeping your liver clean, its primary focus is detoxing the skin to help aid in relief of skin diseases such eczema, psoriasis, and acne. I have been drinking leon and vinegar water for years, but this detox solution is a recent recommendation. It was recommended to me by the lady who runs the herb shop in our neighborhood, and while it didn’t clear up my skin issues, I have noticed a big difference. Here are the ingredients found in this compound as well as links to pages with each of their benefits:

  • Burdock Seed: here and here
  • Stinging Nettle Seed: here
  • Sarsaparilla Root: here
  • Yellow Dock Root: here
  • Spilanthes Flowering Herb: here
  • Ginger Rhizome: here

Please note: This is by far the most expensive detox drink on the list and also probably the hardest to come by. The flavor is also not the most pleasant. 

*Please keep in mind that I am not a doctor and this is not medical advice. These are simply things that have worked for me, my research on them, and my observations of how they have worked. Please consult your physician with any questions*

July Beauty Favorites

July Beauty Favorites || Runway Chef I realized this week that it’s been a while since I did a beauty favorites post (last one here), but the blame for that issue is entirely on my crazy skin allergies because Lord knows I love beauty and skin products enough to have these posts at least twice a week. Apparently, I’m allergic to more than just rubber components (which I discovered thanks to yet another visit to the derm), meaning I’ve had to narrow down my beauty products even more. As promised in the last beauty favorites posts, I will be sharing more about my skin allergies, my new beauty routine, and what products are safe to use, soon as it just so happens that the issues I was dealing with are quite common. But for now, let’s talk about my July beauty favorites….

bareMinerals bareskin bareMinerals BareSkin c/o (I use shade ‘Bare Skin 09′) // I have always loved bareMinerals products, but since finding out that they are one of the few cosmetics brands that I can still safely use, I love them even more. Their newest foundation is an absolute dream…and I don’t even like foundation! Where as I used to avoid putting foundation on at all, I now actually find myself wanting to wear it. BareSkin goes on smooth, you use a little or a lot depending on the amount of coverage you want, and it never feels like or looks like you’re wearing anything. This foundation has totally won over my little foundation-hating heart!

summer lip color Chantecaille Lip Gloss in ‘Glee’ & Maybelline Lipstick in ‘Coral Crush’ // Neither of these products are new to me and I have been using each individually for quite some time. But the combination of wearing them layered together didn’t happen until about a month ago, and I can’t figure why as it makes for the perfect summer lip shade.

highlighter cream Inika Light Reflecting Highlighting Creme // My old favorite Nars highlighting cream and my allergies don’t get along, so I decided to give this creme a try, and so far I’m loving it. It reminds me a lot of the Nars highlighter, but I think it actually blends in more smoothly and the color is a bit lighter, which is perfect for summer.

summer makeup Above I am wearing my July beauty favorites along with Benefit Erase Paste under my eyes and bareMinerals mascara, all of which you can shop below-

Seasonal Swap: Summer Beauty Products

summer beauty products A few weeks back I shared summertime hair swaps to help your hair battle through long summer days so it seemed only fitting that I give you a few summer beauty products to help you put your best face forward once the heat rolls in. While most are items I have personally tried and enjoyed using, I also threw in a few products that I’ve heard excellent things about, namely the Josie Maran Cheek Gel and the Revlon lip stains. I’d love to know- do you switch up your products for the summertime and if so, please do spill the deets on your favorite summer beauty products.

1. Full Coverage > Tinted Moisturizer

2. Powder Blush > Cheek Gel

3. Powder > Blotting Papers

4. Eyeliner > Waterproof Liner

5. Highlighter > Bronzer

6. Primer > Makeup Setting Spray

7. Lipstick Lip Stain

8. Powder Shadows > Cream Shadows