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Beauty & Beyond: Outdoor Springtime Edition

spring Collage

I got a glimpse the other day of spring. OK, not really. I was bundled up under a blanket, cuddling up to the spring Bizarre issue. Either way all the blossoms in the upcoming seasonal fashion trends made me long for flower-full fields and cloudless skies.

Although I'm not exactly ready for them (girlfriend needs to hit the self tanners), even the thought of wearing shorts makes me smile.

Enter Daisies & Dukes, a skin care tribute to the art of carefree country living, a pair of daisy dukes and spring sunshine. Covered in quaint gingham plaid, they offer body washes, salt scrubs, body butter and even sprays for your car. Now you can surround yourself with whimsical scents with cutesy summertime names (like Pickin' Wildflowers and Skinny Dippin’).

Since I love sugar scrubs but always feel like I have to pull double duty by soaping up before using them, I loved that their Bubbly Sugar Scrub lathers up with its own suds. My favorite scent is definitely Country Sunshine. They call it a citrus scent of lemon and orange, but I think it smells like a darling little jellybean. Then there's the Farmer’s Daughter. Although sort of creepy in name (I don't want to smell like someone's daughter, thank you) it's actually warm and inviting pure vanilla cream.

The scents are very subtle, which is perfect because nothing ruins the fresh spring breeze more than someone's heavy perfume. Now I can get a welcomed whiff of spring while snow is still on the ground. Before you know it I'll be wearing shorts. But not before I indulge in some self tanner.

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In the category of things I haven't seen since the warm's no surprise that I became intrigued when learning of a face mask with bee venom in it: Abeeco Pure New Zealand Venom Mask.

Abeeco, who has been creating a buzz with bee-based skincare for two decades in New Zealand, decide to share with us in the States.

This mask combines natural elements of bee venom, which has been considered a natural alternative to Botox. Harvested by expert New Zealand beekeepers (thanks cuz I didn't want to do it) without harming the bees, this ingredient fools the skin into thinking it's been stung. So obs, this not for the faint at heart or the allergic to bees. The reaction - your collagen and elastic production is stimulated for a tightening and smoothing effect.

The ingredients that sit sidecar also help - Manuka honey aids in regenerating cells and fighting wrinkles; the shea butter, jojoba seed oil and lavender soothe; and the Vitamins C and E help boost collagen.

When I tried this mask, I was nervous. I've never been stung by a bee and I didn't want to start now. But I give my art my all, which means…on went the mask (after a patch test, of course). There was a slight tingling but nothing I couldn’t handle. After the 20 minutes, I rinsed it off and...although I didn't look as young at Kate Middleton (someone they tout as using their mask), I did feel a bit tighter. The interesting part is that the sensation came about 15 minutes after washing it off. Was my skin stunned? Who knows.

Since the effects are cumulative, the longer you use it the more obvious the results. But $90 price tag, the recommended twice daily application might not be optimal. I'll use it as a cream though, which has a lighter recommended application that might translate to it lasting longer.

I guess you can say, now's your chance to bee beautiful.

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