Pretty Natural


smorgåsbord of ingredients, one good outcome
March 19, 2011, 19:06
Filed under: beauty, DIY, egg, Hair-care, Honey, moisturizing, oil, olive oil, Organic recipes | Tags: , , , , ,

What are you doing tomorrow afternoon? Homework? Watching TV? If you’re going to be lounging around, then treat your hair to this conditioning mask.

It takes an hour or two to work, but it’s worth it if your hair is fried from being styled all the time or just lifeless from the recent fluctuating weather. And this recipe is from this month’s Marie Claire magazine, so you don’t have to trust me.

Ingredients:

2 small avocados

1/2 cup honey

1 egg yolk (use the egg white for this)

2 tbsp olive oil

Leave in for an hour or two and then shower and condition as usual. Your hair will thank you me.

You’re welcome 🙂

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hot cocoa for us freezing mainers
January 16, 2011, 19:34
Filed under: beauty, cocoa, DIY, Honey, moisturizing, oil, olive oil, Skin-care | Tags: , , , , , ,

Maine is freezing!It’s like we’re trapped under a sheet of ice – and have been for the past week. You might think I’m exaggerating, but the fact is that I haven’t regained feeling in my toes yet. And I don’t even live in a log cabin.

We’ve had a snow day and many of us have avoided going out as much as possible, staying inside to sip hot cocoa and watch movies. Your skin especially will be hurting from the negative temperatures. So take some of that hot cocoa and put it on your face! Here’s how to make the most of the next snow day.

Dry skin mask: Your skin is so dry and frozen that it hates you. Treat it kindly by blending honey and as much cocoa as needed to create a paste and applying it to your face. If your skin needs even more moisture, use olive oil in place of honey.

Hair help: Cocoa is pretty dark and can easily stain, so this is only recommended for those with dark, frizzy hair. Use whole milk (or coconut milk) and mix with cocoa and a bit of oil. Yes this is a little slimy but it is so nourishing! Use it as a conditioner and leave on for 5 minutes.

Now you’re more prepared for the future storms. You’re welcome.



go mango

I’m kind of a fruit addict. I find the natural sugars in fruit far more scrumptious than those in sugary candy. Maybe if I had developed this fine taste for fruit over candy earlier I wouldn’t have gotten circa 20 cavities. I guess we’ll never know.

Lately, people have been buying a lot of mangoes. I work at an enormous store whose name I will not divulge for fear of being visited by people, and that is where I do all my research. So you can trust me when I say that people are buying mangoes at an alarming rate. Maybe it’s because they’re exotic and you can imagine yourself in a warm, far-off place while you eat them. Or maybe it’s their rich iron, vitamin C, and vitamin E content (which is great for the skin, especially now that it’s getting colder).

Face

Mango Mask: SO easy! 1/2 mashed mango, 1 or 2 tsp of plain greek yogurt (it’s thicker than regular yogurt) and some honey. Leave on for 20 minutes. Add sugar if you want it as a scrub!

Mango Body Butter: If you don’t make this, I will. And I’ll sell it. Because this sounds incredible.

(Taken from www.vitamin-supplements-store.net)

2 oz mango butter
1 oz olive oil, almond oil, kukui nut oil, macadamia nut oil, etc…
1 TBS(or more) cornstarch (to make it less greasy)
6-8 drops of Fragrance of your choice (try vanilla, lavender, or mix your own)

Melt the mango butter in a double boiler or you may use the microwave. When using the microwave, set the temperature on medium and check every 45 seconds. When the mango butter is completely melted, add oil and cornstarch and stir until it is a nice creamy consistency. Add essential oil or fragrance last. Allow your butter to set in the refrigerator for 2 hours.

So, if you can keep yourself from eating the mangoes you buy to do these skin tricks, then whip up some of this goodness.



one a day

It’s that time again. Although after today’s 80-degree weather I’m not sure what season it is. Whatever the temp, though, it is autumn again and I couldn’t be happier about it. I love chilly mornings and sunny, temperate afternoons.

I also went apple picking for my first time ever last weekend. I mostly stood in a 45-minute line for apple cider donuts, but I DID pick one apple! I let my little brother climb trees and fill our paper bags with apples from Walingford’s. So, this week we’ve had two apple pies, a few apple dumplings, an apple crisp, and the most amazing apple strudel muffins.

And here’s what I’d do with the apples left over.

Apple Mask: Oily skin? Grate one apple and mix with a teaspoon of honey. Leave on for 20 minutes and rinse with the coldest water you can stand.

Wrinkle Mask: Grate one unripe apple and leave on wrinkly skin for skin for thirty minutes.

Time consuming  but worth it (taken from Care2.com):

“Autumn Magic Facial Mask
This formula soothes and nourishes skin and nerves, and provides gentle exfoliating action.

INGREDIENTS

1/4 cored apple, peeled and grated
1 tablespoon rolled oats
1 teaspoon cream
1 teaspoon honey

Combine all ingredients thoroughly. Apply to clean face, massaging gently, and allow mixture to remain on skin for 10 minutes. Rinse with warm water.

Read more: http://www.care2.com/greenliving/apples-kitchen-cupboard-beauty.html##ixzz10aky6Jjp



post gym remedies

Now that my busy schedule has become a routine, I can get back to some of the things I love: blogging and going to the gym. I’ve been on hiatus from the blogging (yes, again) and from the gym (want these!) because I have to actually buy a membership now that I’m a grown up and can’t use the university gym for free. Bummer.

I’m not exactly a gym-lover, I just love the way a work out feels. I also love pretending to be good at running and always exit the gym with a tomato-red face while avoiding the pretty, skinny girls at the desk.

When I return home I promptly take a shower (even before speaking to people. I don’t want anyone to recognize me post- gym) and do a few things to restore my energy and ease the occasional muscle/joint pain.

Cold

DIY Ice Pack: So easy! Fill a heavy duty zip-lock bag with three parts water and one part rubbing alcohol and freeze it.

Hot

Salty sock: No, really. Heat as much salt as desired in a heavy pan and pour it into a clean, heavy sock. Tie the end and use it on strained or sore muscles.

Mask

I like to follow my work outs with a deep- cleansing mask because sweat and oil settle in pores to create blackheads and infections. Sometimes I use Korres Cinnamon Mask because it has unexpected ingredients and it’s not DIY so I can use it in a hurry, but if I have more time I’ll do this one: 1 tbs heavy cream, 1 tbs honey, and enough baking soda to make a paste.

Remember to replenish precious water lost from the body. I like to add lemon for extra cleansing or cucumber for even more hydration. I hope this entry inspires me to get a membership soon!



back to school

I wish I were going back to school this fall. I’ll miss Farmington and the people there that I love. But graduating has its perks too, like working full time (if you’re lucky!).

I got lucky and landed a nanny job for two beautiful boys. I’m excited to grow and learn with them – expect many “how to clean up after kids” posts in the future!

But if you’re reading this and going back to school soon, congratulations! Here are a few ideas to get your skin and hair back in order after a long summer. These tricks involve minimum ingredients – ingredients that you should pack with you when you move in.

Honey

Yes, I’ve done honey before. But I have to reiterate what a wonder it is. I always have honey on hand to use as a scrub for hands and face (a little honey, a little raw sugar – done!) as well as an antibacterial. When you’re straightening your hair for the first day and you accidentally burn your face, put honey on it for five minutes while the swelling goes away.

Apple juice

The 100% juice, not the 100% sugar stuff. Freeze the apple juice as individual ice cubes in your mini fridge and use them as a toner in the morning. This is excellent for puffy eyes!

Olive Oil

I buy the smallest bottle I can and keep it with my bottles and cans of face and hair magic. Olive oil can be used to shave with (nick-free and silky skin) as well as soften cuticles and skin (a little oil, a little raw sugar) when the temperatures drop.

Coffee

Warm, wet coffee grounds are by far the best morning facial. If you’ve been up all night studying and writing papers, not only will the scrub constrict pores and firm skin with its major dose of caffeine, the smell will wake you up instantly.

Of course, there are plenty more tips that take more time and effort, but honey, olive oil, coffee, and apple juice are easy to pack and store and will help you out of many bad hair/skin days. Trust me.



scrub the day away

It’s Friday and I really couldn’t be happier about that. This Sunday will mark my third week at this job, which means only five weeks left! And next week I actually begin teaching, so I’ll be needing some time to relax at the end of the day. Here’s how I’ll make my bathroom feel like a spa using sugar.

There is nothing better than a good scrub* to remove the top layer of dead skin cells on the face, body, feet and hands. It smoothes skin and makes everything seem brighter and cleaner. The best part is that you can make your own and they’re better than the ones you can buy because a) they’re all natural (and you have the option of making them organic) and b) they’re much cheaper this way. The best thing about these scrubs is that they last for a long time,  so make a batch and store it in a mason jar in the shower for weeks!

Hands

New Hands Honey Scrub: I use this every time I give friends a manicure and they can attest to how incredibly soft their hands feel afterward. It’s like getting new skin! I mix 1 tsp honey with just enough sugar to make a paste and apply it with small, massaging circles. It rinses off easily!

Body

Brown Sugar Body Scrub: Unlike this, the homemade one doesn’t cost $65 and it’s customizable. I make mine with honey, vanilla extract (for an even sweeter smell) and of course, some brown sugar.

Face

Olive oil & sugar: I usually use the honey scrub on my face in the summer, but days that are dry call for this recipe. 1 tsp olive oil and as much sugar as needed to make a paste with. This scrub is very moisturizing so it is best for dry/aging skin.

*You may have heard that crushing almonds makes a good scrub, but this is not true – especially for the skin on your face. The uneven edges can make tears in your skin that take a long time to heal. Don’t do it!