June 4, 2015

Clear skin cleansers

Hello darlings! You've been looking for a face cleanser to give you photo-shopped looking skin, no? Well, some little birdie told me about a few different face washes that can help with that problem. And here's what I think about them....

OSEA Malibu Ocean Cleansing Mudd

I am so glad this skincare line came into my life. My love affair with it started when I got a facial at one of my favorite spa's that exclusively uses this line. I first got the travel size for when I was jet-setting this fall to see mis amigos.

If you have normal to dry skin with the occasional oily patches and break outs, then this shall be your cleanser mister-ess (not to be mistaken with mistress). I only use him when I'm craving something different, and during the other times--I hide him away. If you have normal/dry skin like me, then you'll only need to use it 1-2 times a week or whenever you have breakouts.

I love essential oils and this one is packed with them. Packed so strong that I sometimes have to hold my breath when washing because the minty-ness is pretty intense. You can especially feel the tingle sensation on your skin. Leave it sit on your face for a few minutes for the essential oils to work their magic and heal before washing off entirely.

The clean and modern look of the bottle had me at first sight. I love that all their products are in glass. They get major points for being sustainable and looking stylish at the same time. Half the reason why I became interested in this line was because they didn't store in plastic. Knowing that chemicals aren't breaking down into my product from a plastic bottle puts the mind more at ease.

If you like an intense and refreshing feeling and a good, deep clean then you'll enjoy this. If you have sensitive skin and like face washes that foam a lot, then you probably won't like this. Though it does have some foaming action, the amount is very minimal. 

The list of ingredients is music to my heart. The only thing I wish they might consider is to swap out the "aqua" for something like coconut water or even aloe vera juice. I usually get deterred from products that contain water and have it first on their list, as a preservative is usually needed--thus bringing in synthetics. It seems though that OSEA is using an abundance of essential oils as a natural preservative here, so A+ in my book.

Purchase again?: Definitely.  

1 fl oz. | $16 USD
6 fl oz. | $44 USD

Ingredients: Aqua, *Macrocystis Extract, Decyl Glucoside (Vegetable Foaming Agent), Sodium Lauroyl Oat Amino Acids, *Fucus Vesiculosus Extract, Laminaria Digitata Extract, Cocoglucoside & Coconut Alcohol, Sorbitan Olivate, *Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, *Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower) Seed Oil, Essential Oils of: Melaleuca Alternifolia Leaf (Tea Tree) Oil and Rosmarinus Officinalis Leaf (Rosemary) Oil and Salvia Officinalis (Sage) Oil and Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil and Mentha Piperita (Peppermint) Oil and Cupressus Sempervirens (Cypress) Oil, Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Vaccinium Mytillus (Bilbery) Extract, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Fruit Extract, Citrus Medica Limonium (Lemon) Fruit Extract, Acer Saccharinium (Sugar Maple) Extract, Magnesium Aluminum Silicate (Natural Smectite Clay), Xanthan Gum, Potassium Sorbate, Lonicera Caprifolium (Honeysuckle) Flower Extract (and) Lonicera Japonica (Honeysuckle) Flower Extract (and) Aqua *CERTIFIED ORGANIC INGREDIENT

Juice Beauty Blemish Clearing Cleanser

Juice Beauty was one of the first skincare lines I turned to when I switched completely to natural. This old friend has turned out some nice things n stuffs over the years. Again, this list of ingredients makes my heart beat fast, especially considering some of it contains organic ingredients. 

The texture is a thick gel consistency. If you use their award winning Green Apple Blemish Clearing Peel, then you know exactly what the texture is like. I'm not a big fan of gel cleansers, but I wanted to give this a try for a long time. The foam action is minimal (which is a plus!) and smells like a burst of Autumn apples and lemons. 

Clearing results weren't immediate but it took a couple uses for my problem areas to clear up with this product. Results may be different depending on your skin type. It comes in a plastic bottle with a pump. Yay on sanitary pump, nay on plastic bottle. I would probably get this again considering the ingredients are marvelous, they are cruelty free and the company's eco-friendly way of producing their products is impressive, but I don't think this one is my holy grail. 

Purchase again?: No.

6.75 oz. | $22 USD

Ingredients: Organic juices of citrus medica limonum (organic lemon juice)*, prunus avium (organic sweet cherry juice)*, vitis vinifera (organic white grape juice)*, aloe barbadensis (organic aloe juice)*, decyl glucoside, vegetable glycerin, sodium hydroxide, gluconolactone, sclerotium gum, xanthan gum, lysolecithin, pullulan, sodium benzoate, sodium levulinate, organic botanical extracts of salvia officinalis (organic sage leaf extract)*, taraxacum officinale(dandelion leaf extract), melissa officinalis (lemon balm leaf extract), algae extract, tocopherol (Vitamin E), retinyl palmitate (Vitamin A), citrus aurantifolia (lime oil), tetrasodium glutamate diacetate, sodium anisate, citric acid, litsea cubeba (may chang), citrus aurantium amara (organic bitter orange)* and cananga odorata (organic ylang ylang)*pure essential oils. * = Certified organic ingredient

Andalou Naturals Citrus Kombucha Cleansing Gel

Another astounding product for clearing breakouts and problem skin. I think I might like this cleanser a little bit more for the cleansing properties. I tried the travel set for the "clarifying" line for a few days in a row and solely used just these products. It did actually clear my skin in a timely manner. 

Citrus Kombucha Cleansing GelKombucha, an active yeast ingredient, helps with an array of things such as: improving skin tone, texture, clarity and hydration. It also helps diminish the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. I did see improved clarity and skin tone. As far as lines, I would say I can't comment since I'm not at the age range yet where I can see this with the naked eye. But to be honest--if there really was any brand that actually diminished wrinkles and fine lines, then nobody would be getting cosmetic surgery. I usually take wrinkle claims as a LOC. (Load of Crap, in case you were wondering =D )

Besides skin benefits, this is the same popular ingredient that is taking the hippie and hipster world by storm. It gives the same "feel good" benefits as Maca powder/root does. Things like pretty ugly hangovers and gnarly headaches feel like they were immediately improved upon drinking one--or so a little birdie told me. 

But in the end, I love love love this brand's cleanser. It's a clear liquid/gel consistency and has a moderate foam to it with a fresh scent. I usually lather it on my face (and sometimes chest/shoulder areas) for a few minutes to let it do its thaaang. I think this was key to getting the products to produce good results on my skin. For such great ingredients, you get a lot of product for a low cost. So bite that all you designer label brands! ;P

Purchase again?: Yes.

6 oz. | $12.95

Ingredients: Aloe Barbadensis Juice*, Decyl Glucoside, Sodium Methyl Cocoyl Taurate, Vegetable Glycerin, Sodium PCA, Saccharum Officinarum (Sugar Cane) and Citrus Medica Limonum (Lemon) Juices*, Saccharomyces Xylinum (Kombucha) Black Tea Ferment, Fruit Stem Cells (Malus Domestsica, Solar Vitis) and BioActive 8 Berry Complex*, Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate (Vitamin C), Vitis Vinifera (Grape Seed) Polyphenols, Lippia Citriodora (Verbena) Extract, Salix Alba (Willow Bark) Extract*, Citric Acid, Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Aspalathus Linearis (Rooibos) Extract*†, Allantoin, Sodium Benzoate, Potassium Sorbate, Ethylhexylglycerin, Cymbopogon Flexuosus (Lemongrass) Oil, Citrus Aurantifolia (Lime) Oil* 

Non-GMO verified    *Organic    † Fair Trade

October 3, 2012

Why I la la love Eco-Tools Brush Set

Ask any makeup artist and they will probably tell you that to use your makeup to its best potential, you need to have quality brushes. Weak bristles will literally loose or flake the pigments off when you touch your skin.

So my trip to Sephora began. Even though the brushes there were SO soft and amazing, I had a hard time justifying paying an average of $18-45 per brush...or over $100 for a set that I knew I wouldn't completely use. Admit it, you know there's those one or two brushes in your set that you keep anyway just because you don't want it to feel lonely--useless, but lonely. I especially didn't want to pay a lot of money for brushes since I don't really wear makeup a lot of makeup everyday, if I wear makeup.

I ended up getting my brush set at Walmart. The brand is called EcoTools. I was originally drawn to them because I'm always looking for products that are sustainable, conscious of the environment and cruelty free but after I felt how soft they were, it was a sealed deal for me. So here's why I love this product:

  • It uses bamboo as the handle; which is a very sustainable wood. 
  • It uses recycled aluminum for the center connecter
  • The bristles are cruelty free and VERY VERY soft (very similar to the texture of the Sephora brushes)
  • The packaging they come in is a recyclable case that can be used to hold or store things like makeup products or other cosmetic tools.
  • Certain brush sets come with a hemp & cotton case
What's even cooler was that I recently read in a fashion magazine that a professional celebrity makeup artist was quoted on how this Ecotools line of brushes are the next best thing after pricey professional line brushes, when it comes to quality and durability.

The set I got is the 6-Piece Brush Set. I can't remember how much I purchased it for, but the retail price from their site is $12.99.....and I actually use ALL of the brushes! No lonely, useless brush here :) And my favorite part is that the brush holder has a zip pouch to store extras!

August 5, 2012

Josie Maran Cosmetics Kit

Josie Maran Cosmetics is one of the few "high-end chic" brands that is also eco-friendly. By this, it means both the ingredients and packaging which is made of corn! The company highlights Argan Oil as the main ingredient in all of the products. I don't know how I discovered JMC, but when I did at the beginning of this year, it was a love affair that made me realize I didn't need to keep buying name brands with toxic chemicals, preservatives and icky things like parabens. Yes ladies, these are in your beauty products, and yes, they do have links to an array of health conditions.

I didn't want to dive right into buying just one product since I was new to the brand, so I got her kit. I don't believe this one is available for purchase anymore (I got it in January 2012), but the individual items are still a part of her line. This kit shows samples (and some full size items, too!) of a few of her products. The price I paid for this was around $52.
KIT CONTAINS (L to R in picture):
Argan Lip Treatment (Travel Size)
Argan Mini Color Stick in Petal Pink (Travel Size)
Argan Cleansing Oil (Travel Size)
Argan Oil
Bear Naked Wipes

Argan Lip Treatment 

I have found my lip lover. It's called JMC Argan Lip Treatment and is worth every penny. This sheer lip balm acts like a deep conditioner for your lips. Or atleast that's how mine feel after applying! Besides the Argan Oil, this is my favorite product in the kit. I think this balm is the mini size since the full size one in the store looks a little bigger, but not by much. It smells amazing, like grapefruit. It is a pastel pink color in the container, but goes on colorless. The container is made out of glass too, so no worries about BPA. I will definitely buy this when I run out, though that may be a while for now, as this little guy has been lasting me about 7 months and it just about at the half way mark (I use it almost everyday, too). This product would be even better if it was made in a chapstick type of tube. I leave this at home and use it since I can wash my hands before putting my finger in the container. I would love to use it on the go, but I want to avoid putting germy fingers in it as I go about my day.

Full size:

Ingredients: Squalane, Dilinoleic Acid/ propanediol Copolymer, Oleyl Alcohol, Octododecyl Lanolate, Sucrose Polystearate, Dipentaerythrityl Hexahydroxystearate/ Hexastearate/ Hexarosinate, Microcrystalline Wax, Paraffin, Cholesteryl Hydroxystearate, Organic Argania Spinosa Oil, Ricinus Communis Seed Oil, Titanium Dioxide, Red 7, Flavor.

Argan Mini Color Stick

I have a love-hate relationship with blushes. I love the idea and colors/textures of blushes, but since I'm fair skinned, too much blush looks overdone or like a just ran a mile. For those with fairer type of skin, apply this gently. This cream blush can be used for both cheeks and lips. It is very pigmented and a little touch is enough so you can spread it out with your fingers. This stick is a mini-size, but it's been lasting me a long time. I can't imagine how long the regular sized one would last you (0.55oz., $22). This color doesn't work that well with my skin tone, so I won't be buying this specific color again, but will test out her other colors at Sephora.

Mini size: $14
Size: .21 oz
Color: Petal Pink
Ingredients: Prunus Armeniaca (Apricot) Kernel Oil**, Argania Spinosa (Argan) Kernel Oil*, Beeswax**, Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Butter**, Copernica Cerifera (Carnauba) Wax**, Euphorbia Cerifera (Candelilla) Wax**, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter)**, Mangifera Indica (Mango) Seed Butter**, Persea Gratissima (Avacado) Butter**, Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E Acetate)**, Triticum Vulgare (Wheat) Germ Oil**, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Oil**, Leptospermum Petersonii**, (Lemon Tea Tree) Oil**, Menthol**, Tocopherol**, Ethylhexylglycerin**, Caprylyl Glycol (and) Phenoxyethanol (and) Hexylene Glycol** May Also Contain: Mica (CI 77019)**, Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891)**, Iron Oxides (CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499)**, Carmine (CI 75470)**, Blue # 1 Lake (CI 42090), Red 6 (CI 15850), Red 7 (CI 15850), Red 22 Lake (CI 45380), Red 27 (CI 45410), Red 28 Lake (CI 45410), Red 30 (CI 73360), Red 33 Lake (CI 17200), Yellow 5 Lake (CI 19140), Yellow 6 Lake (CI 15985), Calcium Aluminum Borosilicate**, Calcium Sodium Borosilicate**. (*Organic **Natural)
Full size: $22
Size: .55 oz
Color: Petal Pink
Ingredients: Prunus Armeniaca (Apricot) Kernel Oil**, Argania Spinosa (Argan) Kernel Oil*, Beeswax**, Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Butter**, Copernica Cerifera (Carnauba) Wax**, Euphorbia Cerifera (Candelilla) Wax**, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter)**, Mangifera Indica (Mango) Seed Butter**, Persea Gratissima (Avacado) Butter**, Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E Acetate)**, Triticum Vulgare (Wheat) Germ Oil**, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Oil**, Leptospermum Petersonii**, (Lemon Tea Tree) Oil**, Menthol**, Tocopherol**, Ethylhexylglycerin**, Caprylyl Glycol (and) Phenoxyethanol (and) Hexylene Glycol** May Also Contain: Mica (CI 77019)**, Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891)**, Iron Oxides (CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499)**, Carmine (CI 75470)**, Blue # 1 Lake (CI 42090), Red 6 (CI 15850), Red 7 (CI 15850), Red 22 Lake (CI 45380), Red 27 (CI 45410), Red 28 Lake (CI 45410), Red 30 (CI 73360), Red 33 Lake (CI 17200), Yellow 5 Lake (CI 19140), Yellow 6 Lake (CI 15985), Calcium Aluminum Borosilicate**, Calcium Sodium Borosilicate** (*Organic **Natural).

Argan Cleansing Oil

This stuff smells like warm citrus. I know, that sounds weird, but it's what it smells like. I like the smell and I like its purpose. Some people may be confused by the oil cleansing method, but if you do some research into it and watch videos, you'll see that it's more beneficial than you thought. The good JMC oils cancel out the bad oils in your pores. The natural oils blended in this wonderful facial wash include Argan Oil, Safflower Oil, Grapeseed oil, Grapefruit Peel Oil and Sweet Almond Oil. The consistency may be a little thick when you apply it to your face, similar to honey texture, but I usually add a few drops of water to make it more emulsifying. The point of this product is to massage into your face and then add some water while cleansing in circular motions. Do this until most of the product has become a milky lather on your skin. After you are done massaging, rinse off with water and pat dry. For many of you naturalists and DIYers, you probably have most of these oils in your cabinet like I do, so it is much more cost effective to just make your own blend than spend $32 each time you run out of it.

Full size: $32
Size: 6 oz 
Ingredients:  Argania Spinosa Kernal (Argan) Oil, Polysorbate-20, Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower) Seed Oil, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Oil, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis Oil, Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Peel Oil, Tocopherol.

Argan Oil 

 I love this Argan Oil. It has a light-to-none scent and spreads very easy across the face. I use it on my face and top size of my hands. This oil is said to work like an anti-aging miracle. So start while you're young ladies! I wait a few minutes for it to sink in and then apply my moisturizer on top. Its skin soaking power works AMAZING if you apply it to a towel dried face moments after stepping out of the shower when your pores are most open. Or if you just want to apply a hot, ringed towel over your face to open it up, you can do that also.  This was a full sized item (1.7 fl. oz., $48 retail). If I'm not on a budget, I'll buy it again. But I have seen a lot of other brands out on the market that sell it as low as $25 or $30 for the same size.

Full size: $48
Size: 1.7 fl. oz.
Ingredients: Argania Spinosa Kernal (Argan) Oil

Bear Naked Wipes 

 I believe this was a full size package of 30 wipes. While it smelled wonderful, like grapefruit, the wipes felt like they weren't saturated enough. I like that a portion of the amount for this particular product gets donated to help the polar bears. I think JMC needs to create a snap-close opening, so the wipes stay wetter, longer. When I used these, I felt like I had to press and rub harder than usual. My eye area was the hardest to take off, and half the time when I wiped, my eyeshadow would just smear out instead of coming right off. You would think that if these were infused with (argan) oil, it would be a gentler and easier swipe? For $12 for a 30-count package, you can find other eco-brands like Burt's Bees and Yes To that are half the price for same content count.

Full size: $12
Size: 30 wipes

Ingredients: Water/Eau (Aqua), Hexadecyl Isononanoate, Octadecyl Isononanoate, Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe Vera) Plant Extract, Tocopheryl Acetate, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract, Argania Spinosa (Argan) Kernal Oil, Althaea Officinalis Root Extract, Sodium Chloride, Polysorbate 20, Phenoxyethanol, Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Oil *Certified Organic Ingredient
**Natural Ingredient

July 30, 2012

7 Tips for Pilates & Yoga on a Budget

The economy's tight right now, and so is your wallet if you're reading this post? I'm right there with you. The past few months I've been trying to get my zen on. After going to some Pilates Mat and Yoga sessions, it slowly came to mind that you don't have to shell out as much as you think to find your perfect studio or instructor. In fact, some of these tips will cost you nothing at all, or as much about $10 for a limitless amount of Pilates and Yoga workout!

Tip 1: Free Intro Classes

I realized that the town I live in has a lot of yoga and pilates studios. When I was viewing each company's website, or when I was looking at one of their flyers, I noticed almost all of them have a free intro class for first timers. Usually these free classes are a set day and time each month, for example, every last Wednesday of the month from 6-7pm. I went to one that had a free pilates mat session and a free pilates equipment session. First timers at this studio I went to are allowed to attend both. After trying out three different studio's free session class, it turns out I really liked many aspects of one of the studios. This method allowed me to not waste money on a place I haven't tried before, and prevented me from jumping the gun and buying any deals online -- which brings me to the next tip!

Tip 2: Online Coupon Deals 

I think by now, most people are on board with coupon saving sites like Groupon, Living Social, Tippr, and CrowdSavings. If you aren't familiar, basically you sign up to a major town or metropolis that you live in or near and the site will email you deals that local companies are offering. Savings can be anywhere up to 75% off the retail price of the product or service. I've seen many Pilates and Yoga deals for my town that offer it in group packages. For example, 10 pilates mat sessions for $35. This is a great savings, considering the ones near me are anywhere from $5-15 for a walk-in session. It's a great way to spend little, get a feel of the sessions, instructor and vibe of the studio for a few weeks before deciding if it's worth it to you to start paying retail for their packages or walk-ins.

Tip 3: At-home sessions

Doing Pilates and Yoga sessions in the comfort of your own home is probably one of the cheapest and more efficient ways since the only cost you have is to buy a mat and accessories, plus you can take the time to do your sessions when it works best for you. Studio sessions are usually set for certain hours of the company's work day, so it can sometimes feel very un-zen like if you are rushing from the office to the studio to make it to their 5:30pm session. You can get a studio quality mat at cheap places like Ross, T.J. Maxx, and Marshall's for $5-12. Those stores are great for getting Pilates accessories like the resistance band, blocks and mini weight balls. They sometimes carry a package set that has most to all of these accessories for a cheaper price than what you would pay individually there. If you find a really good package or mat, it sometimes comes with a free Pilates/Yoga workout DVD.

This method is also great for those who 1) be shy or body-conscious at first...though I feel like Pilates/Yoga goers are a different and non-judgmental type of breed compared to those at the gym running the treadmil next to you! Also 2) If you like to take your workouts a little slower or 3) if you prefer to do your workouts during times that aren't offered by studios, for instance 11pm and 4) if you have a killer view or backyard where you feel closer to nature and beautiful breezed. That will definitely get you in the moment of your session compared to being inside a square room.

Tip 4: Youtube & Magazine Tutorials

This of course goes in unisync with Tip 3, as you would be Youtubing from your home, I assume. Youtube offers a tremendous professional workout sessions, if your kit you bought doesn't offer a DVD. Some videos, like this one are a set 30-minute session, so it mimicks how it's done in an actual studio. There are also videos on how to use those accessories like the resistance band, blocks and mini weight balls.

You can also take advantage of poses and tips that are put together in magazines. Whole Living magazine always has a few pages of Pilates and Yoga poses that you can try out. Click here to view some helpful bends and stretches. Natural Health Magazine also has some great Pilates and Yoga moves on their website under fitness that I love to do every morning and night.

Tip 5: Work or School Health Program Perks

Check with your work to see if you are offered memberships to gyms. Some gyms have Pilates and Yoga studios that do sessions. If it's not free, you might have a discount instead.

Tip 6: Use your I.D.!

Are you a militant, senior, college student or state resident? Ask your studio if they have discounted rates for this and you could shave some $$ off your total price tag.

Tip 7: Become an instructor

Do you love Pilates or Yoga a lot? Do you have the breathing techniques, moves and their names along with a general understanding of the origin/history of the art form? If so, why not get paid for what you love doing, if you have the time? Depending on the area you live in, some studios get packed with more than 15 people per session, while others are smaller and may only get 1 person to show up. Call, e-mail or walk into a studio to inquire about how to go about becoming an instructor, or see when and if they are currently hiring. If you can handle not being overwhelmed or feeling awkward around a lot or a little amount of people, then you may be fit to instruct!

July 26, 2012

Wasted Wax Turned Recycled Candle

Candles can be verrry expensive unless you can find them somewhere cheap like Ross or T.J.Maxx. I've even seen some soy candles that are up to $70!!! First of all, if you're buying soy candles for that much, you 1) have too much money, or 2) have a very soyrious problem.

But don't throw away the bottom leftovers of your candle! When the wick burns down to the last of its hours, you are usually stuck with an ample amount of wax that would be ashame to throw away, right? I collected my leftover wax as each candle bid farewell. I was able to make 7 decent sized candles...and the best part was that I spent less than $3 for them all. Here's how:

1. The wick and wick holder

If you are able to salvage the wick holder, do so. I believe that I was able to keep half of the wick holders for my candles. These are the little metal parts that hold in the wick. But if you don't have any wick holders, this doesn't mean you need to run out and buy them. If you are a perfectionist, then go right ahead and do so. Though I imagine when the wax starts to melt closer to the bottom of the candle, that the wick may get wiggly and either move or fall over into the melted wax. Your call though! I have yet to experience that...

As for wick part, you will have to go out and buy a strand of candle wick. When searching, try to buy unbleached kind, as this is a healthier option. Depending on your hardcoreness of DIYing, there are some differnt options for these wicks. There are wicks that are already waxed, wicks that are waxed and have the wick holder attached already and (what I got) wicks that are bare, meaning they have no wax or holder. I show you how to wax and insert the holder in this blog post. But you can skip that part if you opt for the wick thats all done for you. The way I see it, you will eventually have to cut down that long wick in the package, so you're stuck with a lot of extremely short pieces that you might have to discard. With the wick only package, you can cut the length that you need and prevent wasting.

2. Inserting the wick with the holder. (skip this section if you bought the premade wick/wickholder) 

The tricky part is to get the wick into the holder. I used plyers to squeeze them back into a circle shape if need be. Once you have it in the holder, hot glue the bottom part. Let it dry.


3. Prepping the Wax
Gather all your wax. You will most likely have a hard time getting it out of the container, so put the candle in the freezer for about 10-20 minutes. Take it out and you'll be able to pop the whole chunk out of it by wiggling the wax around from side to side. Next, separate you waxes into two different piles depending on what kind of candle it is. For me, I first separated it by wax. I had a soy wax so I put that in one pile and then I put the parrafin (most candles) wax in another. I had some blue wax and yellow/white wax in the parrafin pile, so I separated that down into separate piles. You will be melting your waxes by types and then by colors if you want to keep the same color candle.

Next, cut up the wax into small pieces (1/2 - 1 inch chunks).


4. Melting the Wax
Make a double broiler by placing water in a pot and then using a stovetop safe glass or stainless steel jar/bowl. I put one of those ring tops of a mason jar in the middle of the pot, so my glass container could be steady and centered. This is not necessary though. Put the heat on medium to medium-low and place the wax into your melting container. I use a large glass measuring cup since it has a pour spout that will be easy to transfer to the candle containers. Make sure you have a large enough pot so the water doesn't spill over, like mine. The water line should go at least a third of the way up the wax to it can melt efficiently.

5. Waxing the wick
 If you have purchased wicks already pre-waxed, then you're golden. Skip down to the next paragraph. If not, then keep reading. This step you have to kind of do in unisync with the melting step. But ultimately, with protective, heatproof gloves, you will simply dip the wick into the melted wax, and lay it flat to dry. I find the best way is to hang it is upside down in the freezer for a few minutes. This way you have a straight wick when the wax hardens. Or you can just lay it straight on the table.

Once the wick is dry, hot glue the metal end of the wick to the bottom of your cleaned out candle.

6. Prep the Jar for Pouring
As seen in the picture above, I used wooden bbq sticks to hold the wick up. It will prevent making a mess and having the wick possibly fall over if the wax on the wick isn't hard enough. You can use any type of think stick material to make a cross on top of the jar. 

My favorite step! The pouring! Pour wit mitts on to keep your skin safe. Pour into each jar and leave about a 1/2 inch or more free from the top. To make sure your wick stays extra taught, you can wrap or tie the wick around the stick like the second picture below.

6. Adding Scents
 Wait a few minutes for the wax to cool a little, then add anywhere up to 20 drops per essential oil scent to your  melted wax. Stir gently with a wooden stick like above, avoiding touching the wick in place. 

7. Hardening & Results!
You can place these in your refrigerator or freezer for faster hardening time, or simply leave on your counter. I placed mine in the refrigerator and it took no more than about 20 minutes. Depending on what hardening method you use, wait a few hours after you think it's hardened to light up, just in case. Make sure you remember to cut the wick down to a normal length of about an inch.

So with all the wax I saved up, that I probably would have just chucked in the past along with the beautiful jars, I was able to make 7 decent sized candles! Talk about savings! Start saving that wax of yours and store it in a container in a cool, dry and dark spot! Your wallet will be glad you did :)

March 20, 2012

Homemade Deodorant

So you're probably thinking its impossible to make homemade deodorant, right? Well young little grasshopper, I am here to show you wrong. A few years ago I realized that the deodorant I was using wasn't covering my odor. I'm not loyal to one brand only, so I knew it must have been the general formulas in all these deodorants we buy off the shelf. It was then that I started to have two problems with my deodorant: 1. The unknown "Secret" formula and 2. The cost.

Let's face fact betty boop: Deodorants can be expensive and after reading some controversial articles about some deodorants containing aluminum, my pits beg to be slathered with something healthier. Let not forget the countless other toxic ingredients, like Mr. Big Bad Paraben for example.

So alas, my green intuition kicked in and did some research. I found that some people swore by just using baking soda. Sounds fine, but I wanted something that was more like the texture of store-bought deodorant. Here is the recipie that I made for all you hippie pits--I mean chicks ;)

1. Clean out an old deodorant bottle. I saw other people using bizzare things like the cardboard in your toilet paper roll. That's just too messy. Others used a jar to store their stuff and applied with their fingers, but I think an old, cleaned out deodorant container is the best "less mess" way. You are also upcylcing something to give it a second life! Yay! Remember to keep the lid and the little plastic piece that pushes up the mixture every time you turn the bottom wheel.

2. Measure you ingredients.

1/2 cup baking soda
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup coconut oil (organic/unrefined/cold pressed if possible)
5-8 drops tea tree oil

*This is just an estimate of your ingredients. You will find in the next step that you will have to add more or less powder/oil to get the right texture.

3. Blend those ingredients like your mama taught you. That's right, put all ingredients in a food processor and blend until it turns into creamy goodness. But not too creamy. You want it firm enough to glide on, but not too runny that it won't hold form. Strive for a pasty texture. I haven't tried it, but you may be able to do this with a hand blender. I might try that for my next batch.


4. Transfer to container. Make sure you put that small plastic piece at the bottom of your deodorant container before putting in the mixture. Then scoop out the mixture into the container. Press it down to the bottom, making sure there are no air spaces. Then wala! You have your own homemade deodorant and it only cost you mere cents!

Why baking soda? If I have to explain it to you, then I'm sorry. It's known as a natural cleaning agent and can be used for simple house cleaning too.

Why tea tree oil? Because its a natural antiseptic and antifungal. But hopefully your pits aren't so bad that you need to de-fungal it?

Why coconut oil and cornstarch? Coconut oil does wonders for your skin, soothing and moisturizing it. Both the coconut oil and cornstarch act as binders to hold everything together.

I have been using this formula for almost a year now and love it. I noticed that that weird smell (not B.O. type of smell though) went away after I stopped using shelf deodorants and started using my homemade. If you don't like the smell of tea tree oil, you can add other essential oils to it like orange or vanilla essential oil to mask the tea tree smell.

February 21, 2011

Natural Oatmeal Mask

What's sitting in your cabinet or refrigerator can probably be just as good for your skin than whats in your beauty supply cabinet--or most likely, even better for you. 

Using homemade beauty products can sometime deter people from using it, simply because they have to "concoct" their own treatments instead of flipping the top and just squeezing onto a scrubblet. Trust me though, its worth it, not only because a little bit makes a whole lot for less than what'd you'd spend at the store, but it also gives a comforting fact that you can pronounce all the ingredients in your face scrub, mask, or product.

Lets start with oatmeal. Why oatmeal? Because it helps to strip away impurities and oil without overdrying your skin. When it is used as a mask, the honey works as a glue to adhere to your face. Honey also works as an acne aid, reducing redness with natural anti-bodies. Yogurt will help smooth and condition your skin.

Got that barrel of quaker oats that never gets touched? ...thought so. Well, put them to good use and start whipping up a yummy recipe to make your face glow naturally:

3 tablespoons, grinded oatmeal, uncooked
1 teaspoon, honey
1 teaspoon, plain yougurt
1 teaspoon, water

Blend the oatmeal in a food processor until it becomes a fine, sandy texture.

Add the wet ingredients and blend for about 2 minutes or until smooth and fine.

Apply all over face to make mask. Let sit for 20 minutes of until completely dry. Rinse face with water and pat dry.