Posts tagged ‘eco-friendly’

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.)


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, May 18

Greening up your pregnancy

Today, I welcome guest blogger Christina Lopez to Life’s a Stage, who will teach us a little bit about greening up pregnancy.


In general, most pregnant women are inclined to make themselves more aware of what they are putting into and on their bodies. This period is time to evaluate what is important for both the baby and you. Most women are choosing to live a green lifestyle; opting to make their home and world a better place for a child. By following these simple tips you can color your world green during pregnancy and keep both you and your baby in tip-top shape.

For Everybody

By eating organic produce, dairy and meat products will help reduce pesticide levels in your blood stream. And when available, choose hormone-free and humanely treated meat products.

read more »

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.

2011, February 28

20 minute hand care session

Hands are often neglected while we deal with our daily skin care.

In the best case scenario we apply hand cream once a day, but there are days when we probably don’t even do that. And then, without even realizing it our hand get very dry hands, and over time they will be the first thing that will show our true age regardless of how well our face looks.

So, from time to time, it’s a very good idea to give them more attention, which needn’t take more than 20 minutes – and the results are excellent! ;)

20 minute hand care session

First, prepare a bran, brown sugar, finely ground almond kernels scrub to which you add a teaspoon of sodium bicarbonate.

Mix 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a bowl which you’ll heat over a steam bath for 3-4 minutes. Apply the warm liquid on clean hands, focusing on each finger, the cuticles of the nails, each nail in part (the effect is more intense if you don’t have nail polish on).

Cuticles can be pushed gently with a wooden orange stick, and in time will strengthen the nails.

Wrap your hands in saran wrap, then cover them in a towel. After 5-10 minutes, remove saran wrap and towel and rinse with warm water.

Repeat procedure every week.

Your skin will be very smooth and your hands will thank you.

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