Archive | Beauty Tips RSS feed for this section

The DIY Life: Homemade Lotion Bars

25 Feb

I know I’m not the only one suffering from dry winter skin. Between the constant hand washing, hot showers, and the furnace sapping the moisture out of the air, my skin is THIRSTY!  I always apply lotion when I get out of the shower, and in the winter I will use coconut or body oil since it seems so much more in need of the additional moisture! I’ve been seeing lotion bars popping up everywhere – at beauty stores, online shops, and make your own recipes floating around on the internet. Since I’m more of a DIY girl, I figured I would just make my own! These were so simple to make. I did a total of 6 bars with shea butter and olive oil on the first batch, adding a little bit of lavender essential oil to half of the batch as a nice little bonus since I was gifting them. For my 2nd batch, I did a combo of shea & cocoa butter mixed with coconut oil. They smell lovely! I love these lotion bars. Rubbed directly onto the skin, they offer soothing, much needed moisture. They are all natural, so it’s nice knowing there are no weird additives or chemicals in them that can give my sensitive skin a reaction. I hope that you enjoy these as much as I do!

lotion bars unmolded

Homemade Hard Lotion Bars

The formula for these is very simple – equal parts beeswax, a carrier oil such as olive oil or coconut, and shea or cocoa butter. When using shea butter, be sure to add this last since if you add it with the beeswax and carrier oil it can turn grainy, which would be gross.

Here’s the process.

I made a double boiler out of a pot and glass bowl, filling the pot up about halfway with tap water.

Add in your beeswax and carrier oil. It took about 20 minutes for the beeswax to melt for mine, but I was using chunks of it and did 12 oz of each item for this batch so I could have 1/2 dozen 2oz bars.

Once your oil and beeswax are combined, add in your shea or cocoa butter, stirring until dissolved. Once all the ingredients are combined, immediately put the mixture into molds. I used square silicone muffin molds which made them easy to pop out and gave them a cute little shape. If you want to add any essential oil, you will need to do it at this stage – add a few drops of the oil of your choice, using a toothpick to incorporate. Don’t wait too long since the mixture cools rather quickly and this could affect the look of your lotion bars.

Once the bars are totally set, pop them out of the molds and store them in a container for easy use. I packaged up a few as a gift in a clear bag with a cute little tag and bakers twine. The ones that were left for myself I stored in a wide-mouthed deco mason jar so they were easy to get to.

lotion bars packaged

The Shea and Cocoa butter as well as the beeswax I used were raw and unrefined, purchased through some great sellers on Etsy. I have a tub of organic unrefined coconut oil on hand at all times for all kinds of uses which I purchased at a local health store. The olive oil I use is purchased right from the grocery store! Links listed below if you need somewhere to get the ingredients that you can’t just walk into the grocery store and purchase!

raw, organice unrefined shea butter

raw, unrefined beeswax

raw cocoa butter

essential oils

Pinterest Idea: Sock/Ballerina Bun

20 Aug

I won’t lie. When it comes to doing anything with my hair I am utterly, totally lazy. My hair is poker straight. Therefore my hair routine is that I wash it roughly twice per week (more if I happen to get dirty, sweaty, or have been swimming). In the summer I let it air dry a lot to help keep it moist. I will use a flat-iron only to smooth out any frizziness. That’s it. My products consist of shampoo, conditioner, and a little Argan oil to keep it moist and shiny. That’s it. But, it’s been hot out this summer. Hot as the fires of hell. Days where it feels like I could put dinner in the car while I’m at work and when I get home it’ll be cooked like I had it in the crock pot. Ya, it’s that bad. And my car does not have A/C. Sigh. So, I was looking for an alternative to my usual hot weather hair style of the pony tail or the sloppily looped through a hair tie style. I had pinned how to make a sock bun insert to give your less than huge bun some oomph. So, I sacrificed a brown sock and a tan knee-high and my bun booster was born.

You then put your hair into a high pony tail (we were going for a ballerina bun type style here) – put your ponytail through the center of the sock bun, then wrap your hair around it, tucking the ends in as you go and securing the whole thing with bobby pins.

Verdict? The style is super cute and easy once you get the hang of getting your hair wrapped and tucked. However, between the weight of my hair and the additional weight of the sock bun, my scalp was sore. SO, I think that going forward I’ll be sporting the sock bun at the back of my head, nearer to the base of my neck. It’s an easy before work hair style, as well as a nice change from my usual straight down ‘do.

Pinterest Idea: Wavy Hair

30 Apr

I’m not going to lie. I’m a pinterest addict. A total pinning fool. There are not enough hours in the day, money in my account, or room in my house to accomplish all the recipes, diy’s, and beauty routines. However, I do like to try to use or replicate some of the pins I pin. Otherwise, what’s the point of it all???

Onto the wavy hair idea – you put your hair in two pigtail braids, you twist the braided hair, and run a flat-iron over the twists. It’s supposed to result in something similar to beach wave hair. Me? I have poker straight hair. Super straight. Someone could hold me at gunpoint to get my hair to curl and it would still be pretty straight. So, I decided I would sleep on my braids. I had them in from about noon Sunday until 7:30 am Monday. More time braided means more likelihood that the hair will maintain some form of wave.

I decided upon testing this hairdo out whenever I had wet hair and the hubs wanted to take the motorcycle out to enjoy the beautiful day. Wet hair + helmet = dented, tangled, wind tossed roughness. So I put my hair into two cute little braids and made myself look about 12. Good thing we were going somewhere for lunch that people knew my husband hadn’t robbed the cradle. Off we went.

Slept with the braids in all night, twisted them, then flat ironed.

Here is the resulting hair:

My thoughts: Not bad. I don’t feel like this is “beach wave” hair. It’s more like large-sized crimping. Or maybe a tighter beach wave. That being said, I don’t think it looks bad. It’s super simple – the most labor intensive part is making 2 braids, which didn’t take a whole lot of time. If I do this again I’ll skip the flat-iron part and twist the ends while it’s still braided around a small barrel curling iron. I don’t feel like the flat-iron really contributed anything, nor would it hold the waviness if I just braided, twisted, flat-ironed it.

What do you think? Would this be something you’d try to speed up your morning routine?

Beauty Tips: Coconut Milk

29 Nov

Let’s face it, around the holidays we all can have a tendency to neglect ourselves. We are so busy with baking, cooking, shopping, decorating, and attending parties that we sometimes let our beauty routines fall by the wayside.

Me? I’m very low maintenance when it comes to beauty. I’m not one of those girls that needs 2hrs to get ready to go to the mall. If I have to wash my hair, shower and shave, I’m at about 45 minutes tops. And that’s with drying and flat ironing my hair (which with fine poker straight hair, I only do to smooth the ends or any kinks out).

Speaking of hair, I’ve got very long fine hair. It’s beautiful – I love my hair, I get compliments on it all the time. But around the winter, it seems like the ends start splitting so much faster than the summer months when the air is humid. And I’m lazy when it comes to getting regular hair cuts – my hair guy is lucky if he sees me about every 3 months. So since my appointments are so few and far between, I tend to get more than the standard 1/4 in trim and lean towards 1-2 inches off the length and 2-3 inches on the layers. I use lots of conditioner to keep my hair moist, but the winter usually wins causing the ends to split more and more and giving me those lovely fly aways. I was looking for something to try to help give my hair an intense conditioning without weighing it down and making it greasy. Lead to pinterest stalking. If you haven’t discovered pinterest yet, I don’t know what you have been waiting for! Just go check it out – it’s a virtual pinboard for ideas, recipes, crafts – you name it.

Back to the hair – on pinterest I kept seeing these photos of milky coated hair. I kept bypassing them focusing instead on sarcastic photos and of course, recipes. Then I read what the photo was for, and had an AHA! moment. Essentially, you take and coat your hair in coconut milk – MILK, not cream. Let it sit for an hour, and then wash/condition/style your hair as usual. Supposedly it will speed hair growth while adding moisture to your dry locks. I decided to give it a try since I was scheduled for a hair cut in the next couple days, and I had time to kill seeing as how it was  my cookie baking bonanza for Christmas.

To make the application process less messy, I poured the coconut milk into a hair color applicator bottle – it let me get it right to the roots and not cover my bathroom in coconut milk. I put it right on my in need of being washed hair, massaged it in, and then twisted it up on the top of my head and let it sit for one hour. I used coconut milk that they sold in the store…nothing special is required.

I then washed and conditioned my hair like I usually do, and since I didn’t have anywhere to go I just twisted up my hair and let it air dry.

This is my hair the following morning, after air drying and sleeping on it – not even brushed! I don’t usually get a lot of bed head but this is pretty smooth looking all things considered.

I have to say it’s a nice way to give your hair a moisturizing treatment, especially during this time of year. I can’t attest to it speeding up the growth process since I just did it, but it def conditioned my hair without weighing it down. Give it a try!