Farmgirl Beauty Secret #121: Sprinkle peppers in your heels to keep toes warm!

Every bit of warmth counts when wearing heels in the winter! Simply throw a generous dash of black pepper or dried chili pepper (think: red pepper packets you get at pizza parlors) inside each of your shoes and the natural “heat” of the peppers will release itself when it interacts with the *ahem* moisture of your feet.


Farmgirl Beauty Secret #4: Keep usage of heaters to a minimum.

Don’t get me wrong- in no way am I suggesting that we freeze! Sometimes we just can’t avoid using heaters when snow is plenty and little toes are frozen. However, I live in Southern California, where the sun shines nearly 365 days of the year. Around this season when the morning air is getting ever so slightly brisk, I can’t help but notice people misusing heaters when heaters have no business being on. Growing up on a farm has tought me how valuable energy resources are; I have it pounded in my brain that we should all conserve when possible. Aside from spending precious energy, turning up the heat for a prolonged period of time ages your skin. Heaters drain moisture from the air inside your home and literally move moisture from your dermis. Unless there’s snow outside, bundle up with your favorite sweater(s) and/or favorite person before you turn the heat up. When using the heater, drink lots of H2O, use a thicker, richer face cream and place bowls of water around the house to help counteract the drying effect.


Mineral Makeup 101

Mineral makeup’s growing popularity has been counterbalanced by some of its shortcomings. While mineral makeup is definitely more natural and simple in its ingredients, it is messier to use and its high physical sunscreen content often causes the makeup to look thick, chalky and “kabuki-like” when worn. Some of the more well-known mineral brands, such as Bare Minerals, contain an ingredient that causes itchiness and irritation called bismuth oxychloride.

Once you have knowledge on it, mineral makeup is not difficult to figure out. It’s basically a concentrated version of regular makeup without the emollients, waxes and filler ingredients. Here are some guidelines to follow if you’re venturing out to the world of mineral makeup.

** Read the ingredients and ALWAYS avoid bismuth oxychloride.
** If you still itch after avoiding bismuth oxychloride, you may be mica-sensitive. Contact me if you need recommendations. I'm always searching for mica-free minerals!
** Use minerals that are NOT “micronized” or “nano-particles”. While they’re not always advertised, these are to be avoided and a reputable brand should be able to provide this information. My top 3 brands of non-micronized minerals are Larenim Minerals (they make pressed minerals too!), Barefaced Minerals and DreamWorld Minerals.
** Avoid food-type ingredients, the most common are rice starch and corn starch.
** Good mineral sunscreens tend to have a lighter-colored finish from the natural physical sunscreen titanium dioxide and/or zinc oxide. To avoid looking too pale or pasty, make sure the color you choose is not too light.
** Minerals are easy to apply. Forget the buffing, lightly dust face with a thin layer of minerals and build up with additional thin layers if you need extra coverage. Use a small taklon brush for a high-coverage concealing effect. If you prefer a liquid makeup, mix a small amount w/ 2 pumps of your favorite moisturizer.
** Some people get oilier while wearing mineral makeup. This is due to the natural physical sunscreen and the fact that there are less filler ingredients to block and absorb excess oils. If you’re wearing mineral makeup, I suspect that wearing something natural is important to you. If that’s the case, blot with powder-free blotting sheets regularly and know that you’re doing something good for your skin.


Farmgirl Beauty Secret #55: Coconut oil as a head-to-toe treatment.

Extra Virgin Coconut Oil smells absolutely decadent- like a richer, creamier version of a freshly cracked coconut! If you are sensitive to synthetic fragrances, wearing this as your daily body moisturizer will not only nourish your skin but also leave your skin with an air-brushed sheen, smelling subtly delicious. My sister uses Extra Virgin Coconut Oil as a cleansing oil and it works wonderfully on her acne-prone skin (This didn't work for me as a cleansing oil though, so your results may vary). Try it on dry hair 20 minutes before you shower. Then, shampoo and condition as usual. It leaves your hair silky soft and stronger against heat damage. Before going to the pool or Jacuzzi, lightly coat dry hair with coconut oil to protect it against chlorine. It’s also a great oil to cook and bake with! Available at most supermarkets in the baking aisle, it usually comes in a large screw-top jar because it’s a solid oil (melts upon contact with body heat).

Here’s my disclaimer: I write extremely researched reviews after extensive, self-conducted testing. I do not review products I dislike; it's a waste of time and typing skills. This review contains products I purchased. I was not paid to write this review. My first priority is to my readers; company gratis does not guarantee placement. Affiliate and non-affiliate links are provided to inform readers of where to purchase products. All in all, you can be sure that items seen on my website are the very few products that qualify for recommendation after rigorous testing.