Morning Skin Care Boost

Olay Fresh Effects {Soak Up The Sun Protection} || Runway Chef #beauty #skincare #FreshToSchool For me, my morning routine starts with getting a full 8 hours of sleep, or at least in my dream world it does. Unfortunately, the reality is that I have a wandering mind, noisy neighbors, and a New York City apartment, so I consider myself lucky when I get 6-7 hours of sleep. To make up for my lack of sleep, I try to live a very healthy lifestyle. I take vitamins, drink lots of water, workout every day, start my day with fresh fruit and hot tea, and fill my plate with as many organic, whole foods as I can. But sometimes, even that isn’t enough. To get an extra boost I rely on skin care products. I’m sure you all remember me talking about my crazy skin allergies, so the search to find products that are both safe for my skin AND beneficial isn’t always easy. However, I was recently introduced to a product that does not upset my skin, but it is also perfect for rejuvenating after nights with little sleep. Olay Fresh Effects {Soak Up The Sun Protection!} Lightweight Moisturizing Sunscreen is beauty sleep in a bottle (minus the sleep part). It’s infused with the essence of honeysuckle and white tea, which helps your skin to look refreshed and ready to face the day. It also has SPF 15 in it. I feel good using this product knowing that I am nourishing my skin and helping it to stay beautifully protected.

What is your morning routine like and how do you make up for a lack of sleep? Do you use the Olay Fresh Effects products?

Olay Fresh Effects {Soak Up The Sun Protection} || Runway Chef #beauty #skincare #FreshToSchool Olay Fresh Effects {Soak Up The Sun Protection} || Runway Chef #beauty #skincare #FreshToSchool Olay Fresh Effects {Soak Up The Sun Protection} || Runway Chef #beauty #skincare #FreshToSchool Olay Fresh Effects {Soak Up The Sun Protection} || Runway Chef #beauty #skincare #FreshToSchool This post was sponsored by Olay Fresh Effects through their partnership with POPSUGAR. While I was compensated by POPSUGAR to write a post about Olay Fresh Effects, all opinions are my own.

Tips for Perfect Eyebrows

Tips for Perfect Eyebrows @runwaychef #beauty #howto Growing up I absolutely hated my bushy eyebrows. It didn’t matter how many times someone told me that Brook Shields had thick gorgeous eyebrows “just like me”, the only thing I saw when I looked in the mirror was Oscar the Grouch. So naturally I plucked my eyebrows into oblivion. Literally. At one point I think you might have even needed a magnifying glass to see them. It was scary. Like Halloween scary, except 24/7 (#notok). Fast forward a few years and I’ve now come to realize that thick eyebrows really are gorgeous. Instead of wishing my brows looked like anything but Brook Shield’s, I now want them to look as much like hers as possible. Well-groomed and well-shaped eyebrows not only help to define your face, they also make your eyes look bigger and brighter and it’s one thing that should never be skipped in your daily routine. Even if your tight on time, doing just your eyebrows (along with a coat of mascara and adding a touch of concealer) will make such a huge difference. To achieve the perfect eyebrows, here are my tips-

Tips for Perfect Eyebrows @runwaychef #beauty #howto A before shot of my eyebrows

Tips for Perfect Eyebrows @runwaychef #beauty #howto Tools of the Trade: Eyebrow brush, clear mascara, tweezers, eyebrow brush/comb, small scissors 

Tips for Perfect Eyebrows @runwaychef #beauty #howto First, you’ll want to figure out what the proper shape of your eyebrows should be. Using your eyebrow brush handle as a guide, line the brush straight up against your nose (like the first picture). The end of your eyebrow should line up with the handle so anything to the  side opposite your brow should be plucked. To figure out where the highest part of your brow should be, hold the brush diagonally from your nose to your eyebrow across the farthest side of your retina. Your arch should be wherever the brush hits (see the second picture). To determine where the end of your eyebrow should extend to, keep your brush lined up with your nose but this time move your brush to the farthest corner of your eye. Your eyebrow should extend out to the point at which the brush hits (as in the third picture).

Tips for Perfect Eyebrows @runwaychef #beauty #howto After you determine the shape your eyebrows should be, use the eyebrow brush to gently brush them from the center towards the outer corner.

Tips for Perfect Eyebrows @runwaychef #beauty #howto Pluck any stray hairs using your tweezers.

Tips for Perfect Eyebrows @runwaychef #beauty #howto Next, use the comb side of the brush to comb your eyebrows up and out.

Tips for Perfect Eyebrows @runwaychef #beauty #howto Use the scissors to trim any hairs that extend pass the brow line. I usually only do a trimming once a week, unless it is needed.

Tips for Perfect Eyebrows @runwaychef #beauty #howto After the brows have been cleaned up, you’ll want to fill them in with an eyeshadow or brow color that is one shade darker than your natural brow color. I use the dark brown from the Les 4 Ombres Chanel eyeshadow palette. (I like to use eyeshadow as opposed to a pencil as I think the color is less harsh and it blends in more easily creating a more natural looking eyebrow.)

Tips for Perfect Eyebrows @runwaychef #beauty #howto Tips for Perfect Eyebrows @runwaychef #beauty #howto Add on a coat of clear mascara (or brow gel) to lock in the color and keep your brows in place.

Tips for Perfect Eyebrows @runwaychef #beauty #howto Tips for Perfect Eyebrows @runwaychef #beauty #howto To finish the look, I like to add a swipe of a shimmery eye shadow right underneath my brow to highlight the area and really make my eyes and brows pop. Here I’m using Chantecaille in “Marigold“.

Tips for Perfect Eyebrows @runwaychef #beauty #howto Tips for Perfect Eyebrows @runwaychef #beauty #howto In this picture you can see the dramatic difference between the eyebrow that has been done (left) and the one that has not (right).

Tips for Perfect Eyebrows @runwaychef #beauty #howto To maintain my eyebrows, I usually follow the plucking and trimming routine once a week, of course plucking out stray hairs as need be. I fill my brows in with the color and gel any time I do my makeup.

Shop Everything You Need to Create Perfect Eyebrows Below

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!” 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*