Pretty Natural


even more nutmeg

I posted last time about nutmeg being good for eczema. Turns out, though, that nutmeg is even more the superhero than I thought. After posting about it last time, I continued my research on nutmeg because it couldn’t hurt to do more with the sweet-smelling spice. And my research was not in vain.

Last night I tried a nutmeg paste as a blackhead remover. And wow. I really thought it was too good to be true, but it worked. And it smelled lovely. And my skin glowed.

So really, this one needs to be tried. BY YOU. Here are some great facials using nutmeg. Enjoy!

For Oily skin:

I made a paste of water and nutmeg until I reached the desired consistency. But it was still difficult to keep the nutmeg on. Instead I probably could have used egg which is pore-constricting and cleansing. You could use it as a scrub first and then leave on.

For Normal skin:

For normal (or delicate skin) I would use whole milk. It’s gently exfoliating and refreshing.

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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



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.



powder

My first memory of baking soda (“shake it till you can’t shake it no mo'”) is that my grandmother used it in the refrigerator so that the fish she bought each week wouldn’t make her house smell like low tide. My brother and I were grateful for this because we spent much of our time in the fridge searching for delicious things and did not want to be impeded by horrible smells.

Then my boyfriend told me he used to drink baking soda and water to settle an upset stomach. I suffer from some pretty bad stomach pains – but none that would ever make me turn to that tip. I tastes too awful!

I blogged three weeks ago about one good thing baking soda can do for you – especially when you’re in dire need of a cure like I was then – but this week I want to share even more tips because this ingredient is a gem and I can’t keep secrets like this to myself.

Hair

Chlorine Cure: I’ve talked about the chlorine content of the water here and of my fear of green locks. So here’s a tip that I’ve been using as regularly as a if I were a pro swimmer. 1 tsp to a bottle of shampoo adds extra cleaning and helps prevent dull or discolored hair.

Dry Shampoo: Many like the effect of dry shampoo because it helps with oily roots but also can add volume to the finer hairs in life. Sprinkle a little on, massage in and use a hair dryer to restyle if necessary.

Body

Anti dry: For some reason the skin on my elbows and knees are dryer than they normally are in the summer. All I do to get rid of this is to make a paste of baking soda and water and apply. Rinse off when dry.

Hands: I also like to soften my cuticles with a toothbrush dipped in baking soda and water.

Face

White mask: Exfoliating, cleansing and anti-acne, this mask (made of just water and baking soda) is one of the best DIY tips of all time. Women have used it for centuries. If you don’t feel like you have the energy to indulge in a whole mask, you can make just enough to cover one blemish. Rinse when dry.

There are many more tips like these! Check them out.



green

I love kiwis – the fruit, the animal and the people. But the fruit in particular is  delicious and packed with vitamin C, which, as I’ve mentioned in other posts, is best used straight from its natural source.

There are a lot of great tips for using kiwi for skin care and there’s a good reason for it. Aside from being one of the biggest sources of vitamin C, the kiwi fruit is full of alpha-hydroxy acid, acids which exfoliate and brighten skin as well as control shine. Here are some tips that are especially great if your skin is tired and dull from a long work week.

Body

Green scrub: Make a scrub using raw or brown sugar (I personally prefer brown sugar because it makes a better paste) and the pulp of as many kiwis as it takes. This mix contains three exfoliators: the seeds from the kiwi, the AHAs and the sugar. And is smells so fresh – kind of like this.

Hands

Manicure prep: Use 1 kiwi pulp and 1 tbsp olive oil. Leave on for up to 20 minutes – this is exfoliating and moisturizing.

Face

Mashed: Just mashing the pulp of a kiwi and letting it sit on your face makes for a perfect mask. But adding extra ingredients depending on your skin type can heighten the experience. Add olive oil for dry skin and honey for combination skin. If you have oily skin, I would stick to just kiwi because it already has everything you need!



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!


when life gives you lemons

The seat belt in my car is stuck. This means it needs to be fixed. This means my parents will be driving me to my very first grown up job. This makes me feel like a child.

My parents are driving through three states and back just for me. This makes me feel worse. I know I’ll forget all about this in a few weeks and not care, but I’d like to look forward to this next chapter instead of grumbling and moping. Life, it would seem, has given me lemons. So I’ll use them as I prepare to leave, because I’ll want to be fresh faced for my new job.

Now you know all about my day. But what you don’t know is this: those vitamin C  products at the store? Don’t waste your time. Vitamin C is only really valuable in dry form – OR straight from its natural source. So this won’t help you. (The Body Shop does great things for the community, though, so it WILL help others if you buy it.) Lemons are cheap and they have so many different beneficial uses.

Face

Easy peasy bath: Adding 1/2 cup to a warm bath means detoxed skin all over. Vitamin C is rejuvenating and it cleanses exceptionally well. DO NOT use this remedy if you’re a fan of the self-tan. It will turn you orange.

Hair

Lemon squeezy lightener: Ever lightened your hair with Sun In ? Stop paying for it. Add 1 part lemon juice and 1 part water in a spray bottle. Spray in and use the heat from the sun or a hair dryer to get some summer highlights.

Face

Lemon lightening:  I have too many tips to include here, so check out my wikispace for more links. One really easy tip is to rub a slice of lemon wherever you have blackheads once a day before bed. The lemon juice bleaches them (they’re just a process of bacteria and oxidation so make it invisible!).

Cleansing scrub: A little squeeze of  a lemon and a little bit of sugar and you’re ready to get rid of the day’s grime.

Remember to put a little lemon in your water everyday for clean, fresh breath and a healthy liver.