Saturday, January 1, 2011

Carolyn Braden and Her New Year, New Thing: Writing For eHow

My new year, new thing:  I will write more!

I am now a contributing writer for

My first article was just published.  You can check it out below by clicking on the link.  It is about how to use my new favorite Lush product, Charlotte Island skin tint.  I blogged about it a couple of weeks ago and I wanted to share the news about how it's a great alternative to self-tanners and tanning in the sun (and in tanning beds).

I plan to write articles about style, fashion, and beauty products, but I also will write about other topics.  I am currently an art educator, so I plan to write articles that inspire people to create art projects and crafts.  Having taught art to elementary and middle school age students, I've figured out very simple and easy ways to break down hard projects.  Going on my 7th year of teaching, I've learned a lot and I am excited to take my knowledge to the next level, which is writing about it.  I write a blog about what is going on in my classroom and about certain art projects called Braden's Art Stars.( ) I also contribute my knowledge in the arts on other websites such as and SchoolArts Magazine.( ) Now, with, I'm just adding more to my writing resume.  And this is one step in the direction to keep my new year, new thing resolution!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Carolyn Braden's Review of St. Tropez: A Great Self-Tanner

Looking for a great self tanner that will cure your winter, pasty, pale skin?  I love St. Tropez Self-Tan Bronzing Lotion!  
I am not going to does smell like self-tanner.  I've read other reviews of the product and I saw everything from "It smells nothing like self-tanner!" to "It stinks!".  I will honestly say, it smells good coming out of the bottle, but like most self-tanners, when it starts working (reacting with your body chemistry to tan the skin), it smells like self-tanner.  However, it does work.  Here are my tips on using it to do what it was meant to do:  give you natural looking color.

When you get out of the shower, dry off completely.  Then apply a light layer of lotion on your feet (don't forget between the toes!), elbows, knees, and face.  
Begin to use the lotion on your feet and work your way up your body.  Don't rub the lotion in; just lightly apply it, smoothing it until it is even.  Rubbing it will only make it start to ball up and come off (trust me on this).  When you've gotten it on your body, put some on your face.  I have sensitive skin and I was still able to use it on my face.  
When you are finished, use soap and a nail scrub brush to scrub the palms of your hands.  I do this a few times so I can get it all off.  To be on the safe side, rub a little of the plain lotion over your knees, hands, elbows, and feet to make sure these areas get evenly tanned.  Those are usually the areas where you end up seeing darker areas the next day.  If you use the plain lotion to "even it out" you are less likely to end up with streaks and dark spots.
A tip to make sure the tops of your hands aren't pale white compared to your body:  put some plain lotion on them and rub it in.  While that lotion soaks in, use a tiny amount of self tanner and rub (use finger tips only!) it over the tops of your hands and between the fingers.  Rub a little on your wrists too.  Use the wet scrub brush to gently scrub your finger tips clear of any of the tanner.  Dry hands completely. 

I like this lotion because it gives me a very natural looking color.  I am a red-head with freckles, and fairly pale skin.  I don't tan easily in the sun and I don't like wrinkles.  St. Tropez Self-Tanning Lotion is the answer to my pasty problems.  The 8 oz. bottle I purchased in September still has enough to tan me for another month and I use it about 2 times a week.

Carolyn Braden Tries Sally Hansen Salon Effects Polish Strips

I just purchased Sally Hansen Salon Effects Polish Strips.  I got the "Laced Up" design, which looks like my nail is covered in black lace.  My nails look great, but I am truly wondering if it will last.  The box says it can last up to 10 days.  Each design comes with 16 strips, so if you mess up putting one on, you can take it off and use one of the extra strips.  I felt like they were fairly easy to apply, as the directions were very detailed.  I will post whether they are worth trying or not when I see how long they last.  It took me about two hours to fully apply them, but I wanted to make sure I did it exactly correct so I could give an accurate review after I see how long they stay on my nails.

I am very interested in trying OPI's Axxium gel nail polish.  I know my salon does them for $45.00, which I thought was pretty expensive.  After doing a lot of reading about it, I am considering buying an Axxium kit online and trying it myself.  I have taught myself how to do so many things and have come out with very professional results when I've practiced enough,  We'll see what I do soon....... :)