Archive for ‘Beauty – the natural way’

2013, December 23

Deep Conditioner for Winter Hair – #12DaysOfDIY

12 days of xmas blogging-1 I have to come clean and admit to the fact that when I’m in a hurry or tired, I skip a lot of beauty steps. These include, but are not limited to: applying make-up, looking into a mirror before leaving the house, straightening my hair, actual hairdo aside from simply pulling it into a half-up or a ponytail, and so on. Seriously, I have no issue whatsoever to walk around or go to work without, for example, any make-up, not even eyeliner applied. I only regret it later, after running into people to whom I look like I haven’t slept in three weeks ;) But then promptly forget and repeat in a few days.

This is fine generally; during winter however, my hair demands attention. It likes being pampered just as much as I like to be when the weather’s all chilly and staying indoors with a cup of delicious S’mores Hot Chocolate seems like the best plan of all time.

My usual hair washing routine consists of:

  • brushing my hair well before washing
  • shampoo, rinse
  • applying a hair mask when I have time to (I’ve tried many, but most of all love the Mediterranean Olive Oil Conditioning Hair Mask from Avon)
  • pulling my hair into a bun atop my head and leaving the hair mask in for 15 minutes
  • rinse off hair mask
  • wrapping hair in a towel and waiting another 15-20 minutes
  • drying with a hair dryer (since I’d get a cold if I don’t)

(Now that you can see this takes the better part of an hour without the actual drying, I think you “get” why I end up skipping the hair mask step.)

Watching MissGlamorazzi’s YouTube channel more often this December, I noticed she posted the recipe for a deep conditioner she uses. It sounds perfect for Winter, and especially for the weather we’ve been having this month!

It sounded super easy, so I gave it a try, and my hair thanked me. This conditioner really moisturized my hair, it looks nice, is all soft and silky to the touch. In her styling tips at the end of her video, Ingrid suggested straightening one’s hair, but I’m leaving that until tomorrow and for New Year’s when I’ll actually style my hair more interestingly – probably one of these two hairdos.

page deep winter conditioner

Deep Conditioner for Winter Hair

-3-4 tbsp olive oil
-2 tbsp regular milk (or you can use half & half for a creamier texture)
-Half a banana

Measure ingredients into a microwave safe bowl – don’t worry about the separation of the oil and milk. Add the banana in small chunks.

Warm in the microwave (do NOT cook!) for about 30 seconds, then break up the banana pieces really well.

Bring to the shower with you, apply on wet hair and leave in for 5-10 minutes while you wash your body.

When rinsing, make sure you don’t get any of it in your eyes, and that you’ve rinsed out all the banana pieces from your hair.

My hair tends to get oily fast, especially during Winter from having to wear hats.
So I applied this conditioner mainly to the ends of my hair, and only combed through my hair near the scalp with my conditioner-covered fingers once or twice.

Happy beautifying! ;)

2013, August 19

Two hairdo tutorials – A girly girl post for today

On the blog, I haven’t talked fashion, accessories, pony tails and etc. as far as I can remember. Probably because I’m not that into them in real life either. Don’t get me wrong though, I like nice things – just am not such a girly girl in general.

That said, I’ll take today off from my slightly tomboyish self and introduce you to two of my new favorite hairdos. They’re described as the perfect hairdos for everyday wear. Which is why I found them while searching for a good wedding hairdo. ;)

What can I say, I like simple best! And just love how these can be dressed up and down depending on the occasion.

Easy Everyday Headband Hairstyle for Short and Long Hair

From this video, I really like the half up and half down hairstyle, as well as the side swept hairstyle.

page half up half down side swept hairstyle

Here’s how to achieve them:

For the half up half down hairstyle, take a headband and place it over your head. Starting on the right side, pick up a chunk of hair above your ear and tuck it into your headband. Pick up another chunk of hair right beside it, and tuck it into your headband. Then, do the exact same thing on the other side.

For the side swept hairstyle, starting on only one side follow the above instructions and continue to tuck chunks of hair into your headband until you’ve reached the other side of your head. Then, when you have all your hair on one side, pick up one chunk of hair from that side and tuck it into the headband as well to complete the look.

Now, I don’t normally have the time to curl my hair, which means it falls apart sooner than it should. I use a small hairclip to prolong its “life”. So, if you’re not gifted with naturally curly hair, when you can, do take the time to curl it. Your hairstyle will last so much longer!

 

Everyday Fancy Loop Ponytail Hairstyle for Medium and Long Hair

This next hairdo I found last year, and have my hair like this when I’m looking for something more interesting than a simple pony tail, but am having a rushed morning.

page fancy loop ponytail

Here’s how to achieve it:

Brush your hair to one side until it’s all smooth. Part your hair in half, take an elastic hair tie and tie off the pony tail. Make a hole above the hair tie and flip your pony tail through it. Divide the bottom layer in two.

Of the two sections take the upper one and tie it with the pony tail, then as before, make a hole above the hair tie in the middle of the strand and flip the pony tail through it.

Finally, gather the last section and repeat the first steps. If it’s a more special occasion than just a work day, dress it up with a flower or classier hair pin.

So, which hairstyle do you like best? Do you have a good quick and easy hairstyle to share?

2012, September 19

Improvised body scrub

I haven’t written a beauty recipe for a while. Maybe because I’m still using up some of the things I’ve made, and re-making those recipes.

But today, let me share a recipe of a body scrub I made (improvised) for a friend’s birthday last year (and of which I completely forgot up until now.)

DSC00111

Estrella’s Improvised Body Scrub

I used the following ingredients: sugar, coffee, wheat germ, lavender flowers, olive oil, grape seed oil, water.

Results: smooth skin, and my friend was very excited about some rough areas (elbows, heels) that are now gone.

If you want to try this, let me know how you like it  :)

2012, February 27

Practical advice for winter skincare

Although we’ve entered winter a few months ago, it’s only been in the past few weeks (month or so) that the cold has truly set its foot down over here with temperatures going as low as –23 Celsius (yes, minus 23!). Cold and frosty winds – the greatest enemies of our skin during this cold season.

I don’t think cosmetic products used during winter greatly differ from those that are preferred during the rest of the year, but they still must be used regularly. Even one day when you have not followed all the steps leaves a trace of evidence, or at least that’s what always happens in my case.

So to prevent entering spring with a tired and visibly marked skin complexion, I recommend considering the following tips:

  1. Hydration as the basis of everything
    Hydration is essential! Using various heat sources affect water balance in our skin and bodies overall. Drink plenty of fluids (water, hot tea, fresh juice) and do not forget about room humidifiers.
  2. Do not skip over any part of your cosmetic routine
    On both body and face, cleansing, toning and nourishing the skin add up to a valuable routine which is essential to be followed daily, both at morning and in the evening (whether you used makeup during the day or not).
    A gentle cleanser or preferably one homemade of suitable oils mixture will first easily remove all impurities. A toning floral water will remove any remaining residues. And a blend of face creams, lotions, butters and oils will nourish your skin. Avoid using non-organic soap on your face and never leave the house before applying cream.
  3. Eat well
    Eating well doesn’t mean you must eat more, but that you should make sure to include as many vegetables and fruits, nuts and seeds, soup and fish in your diet  and as little heavy/greasy meat as possible.

These are just three, very simple tips, which are highly effective and can be easily followed with just a little willpower and organization.

 

What are your tips for a beautiful and healthy skin during this frosty season?

2011, November 16

Tips and tricks for healthy hair

red hair 1. Always look at ingredients and choose a delicate shampoo without SLS (it excessively dries hair). It’s best to avoid harsh shampoos, as a gentle shampoo cleans just as effectively without unnecessarily being hard on the scalp. Even shampoos for color-treated hair are often harsh, so even for dyed hair it’s preferable to use a gentle shampoo.
2. Do not believe manufacturer’s claims that their shampoo is suitable for anyone and performs miracles that no other shampoo does. Each person is different and what works for one person may be wrong for someone else. Always test shampoos before switching and then select according to your hair’s needs.
3. Do you really need to shampoo twice? Before we learned this rule, our hair was clean even after shampooing once. It may or may not be a marketing tactic designed to increase sales. Obviously, in some cases, double shampooing is necessary, but it is not as necessary as to become a rule. (I noticed that no matter how many times I shampoo my hair, I have to wash it with the exact same frequency, so why waste that extra shampoo?)
4. Curly hair doesn’t get greasy quickly, because the sebum doesn’t get through the hair as fast as it does on straight hair. The best products for this type of hair are creamy ones. It is best to use a conditioner after washing curly hair.
5. Oily, normal or flaccid hair needs a liquid, light, transparent shampoo. Not all people with these types of hair also need conditioner, so if after washing your hair is easy to comb, you can save money by not using conditioner.
6. Chemically treated hair is more difficult to care for, it’s best to use a natural shampoo, gentle, for normal hair. You should also use concentrated hair conditioners.
7. For dry hair, creamy conditioners and very nutritious shampoo is recommended.
8. Are shampoos ‘2 in 1’ (with built-conditioner) better? This product is recommended for normal, healthy hair. But if you have oily hair, conditioner is not needed, and if you have dry hair, the moisturizing agents in ‘2 products in 1’ type of shampoos are not sufficient.
9. To shampoo use a small amount of shampoo (add more if necessary according to your hair’s length). Conduct a rigorous massage to the scalp, and if you can bear it, before shampooing and the rinse water should be cold as to support extra shine. If possible, let air dry. Always comb wet hair with a wide toothed comb and not a brush because your hair is most fragile while wet.
10. A beautiful, healthy hair does not require expensive treatments, it’s relatively easy to maintain at home. Like any other aspect of our body, beautiful hair is foremost maintained by proper diet, sufficient hydration, avoiding stress and smoke filled places and the use of natural hair care products.
 

Some additional tips:

  • the juice of one lemon mixed with a cup of water give more shine to your hair;
  • one tablespoon of baking soda mixed well in a cup of water will remove remaining hair spray or gel from the hair;
  • a teaspoon of baking soda added to the amount of shampoo used once to wash helps eliminate excess sebum from the scalp;
  • rinsing your hair with a few tablespoons of apple cider vinegar diluted in 2 cups of water gives it shine;
  • or just use No-Poo shampoo
  • an infusion of chamomile helps to highlight blonde hair color;
  • an infusion of sage, lavender and cinnamon (a few sticks, broken pieces) helps darken hair color;
  • hibiscus (either infusion or powder) helps in attaining red reflexes.
2011, March 28

Homemade Honey Beauty Recipes

For this week’s Homemade topic blog post, I’m pleased to feature a guest post by Alexis Bonari. She shares some excellent tips and recipes, and I have to admit: I can’t wait to try them all out!

 

There’s a reason honey shows up repeatedly in commercial beauty products. In fact, there are three of them:

1. Honey is humectant, meaning it draws moisture from the air. The Greeks and Romans put it on wounds to keep them from scarring, which makes honey a great acne remedy as well as one for dry skin.

2. Honey, especially darker varieties—namely Manuka honey, which is made by bees that feast on the same bush from which we get tea tree oil—contain antibacterial properties.

3. Honey contains antioxidants, which explains why Cleopatra and other ancient beauties used it to acquire a youthful glow.

Instead of spending wads of money on overpriced spas and chemical-laden commercial products, why not go straight to the source? Make these spa-worthy recipes with natural ingredients you probably already have in your pantry!

Basic Honey Face Mask

· 2 tbsp honey

· 1-2 drops tea tree oil for problem skin

· 1-2 drops lavender oil for oily or irritated skin

· 1-2 drops chamomile oil (or chamomile tea) for dry or stressed skin

Massage gently into relatively clean face and rinse with lukewarm water after 10 minutes. This is an easy morning or weekend regimen before toning and moisturizing.

Honey Exfoliating Scrub

· 1 tbsp honey

· 2 tbsp finely ground almonds or oats

· ½ tsp organic yogurt (full fat for dry skin, skim for oily skin)

Mix in a small bowl or the palm of your hand and massage gently over your face, working from your forehead down to your nose, cheeks, then chin. Leave the mask on for 10 minutes and rinse with lukewarm water.

The honey moisturizes and kills bacteria while the yogurt exfoliates. The almonds or oats work double-duty as exfoliants (instead of those plastic micro-beads that just pollute the ocean after they go down the drain!) and as moisturizers.

Honey Firming Mask

· 1 tbsp honey

· 1 egg white

· 1 tsp clay, flour, or glycerin

Form a paste with the ingredients and massage onto face. Clay will draw impurities from your pores while glycerin cleanses. Although flour won’t really do much for your skin, it will keep the already beneficial honey-egg white mixture on your face instead of your toes! Rinse with lukewarm water after 10 minutes.

Cucumber Honey Eye De-Puffer

· 1 tsp honey

· ½ tsp chamomile tea

· 2 tsp cucumber, peeled, seeds removed

· 1 tbsp aloe vera gel

Don’t put the tea leaves in boiling water—it just scalds the leaves and not only makes a bitterer cup of tea for drinking, it doesn’t release the most beneficial nutrients. Instead, warm up filtered water (like Brita water) to the temperature of a hot bath and steep the tea. Set aside to cool.

Meanwhile, blend the cucumbers, aloe, and honey until smooth; add the tea. Put into a small glass jar and refrigerate for up to one week. Gently apply it an hour or so later when it’s been chilled to your under eyes.

Honey Hair Care

· ¼ cup honey

· ¼ cup olive oil or half an avocado, peeled and destoned

Mix the ingredients in a bowl and apply to hair. Slap on a shower cap and try the Cleopatra bath (see below) for 30 minutes and then shower and condition as usual.

Cleopatra Bath

· ¼ cup honey

· ½ cup organic milk or cream

Lovely Cleopatra knew what she was doing. Pour these ingredients in a warm bath and let it moisturize tired skin, revealing a more youthful, glowing you.

 

Bio: Alexis Bonari is currently a resident blogger at College Scholarships, where recently she’s been researching trade school student loans as well as McDonalds scholarships. Whenever this WAHM gets some free time she enjoys doing yoga, cooking with the freshest organic in-season fare, and practicing the art of coupon clipping.

2011, March 14

Olive oil face mask

Olive oil face mask

20 ml olive oil
3 tablespoons of cosmetic clay 
a few drops of hot water

Mix all ingredients until creamy. Apply covering your face and neck and allow it to act for 15 minutes.

Recommended for dry and sensitive skin.

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