HOMEMADE NATURAL MAKEUP BRUSH CLEANER

Hello Lovely,

Do you clean your makeup brushes? 

I’m embarrassed to admit that I’d never thought about cleaning my makeup brushes. I mean, I knew I was supposed to clean them, I just never made the time to do it properly (often opting to just rinse it with soap and water). Big mistake.  As it turns out, cleaning makeup brushes is a pretty important task that can prevent bacteria from spreading on the skin.

Bacteria = breakouts.

Breakouts = makeup brush contamination.

Makeup brush contamination = more breakouts.

It’s a nasty cycle.

I had bought a bottle witch hazel during my last shopping trip in Miami because I heard about all of the amazing benefits of it with beauty products. I also knew that castille soap is like the coconut oil of bases (holy and highly revered). There are a number of store-bought brush cleaner options, and there are also a number of DIY tutorials on Pinterest. Most of the ingredients used in both the store-bought and “homemade” versions are far from natural, so I took what I learned and started experimenting. After all, how hard could it be, right? With a few basic ingredients, which I already had on hand for DIY beauty products, I was able to easily whip up a natural solution.

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To say that I’m now a brush cleaning advocate is an understatement.  Trust me, just try it once–dip your makeup brush in a few simple ingredients–your beauty routine will forever be changed. From what I’ve read, most makeup professionals recommend cleaning brushes daily, particularly the ones used for foundation and blush. But considering I don't wear makeup every day (special occasions only) I'll stick to cleaning them after every use.

My homemade brush cleaner recipe works for any cleaning schedule since it makes enough solution for soaking sessions (my preferred method of cleaning) or daily spraying. Whichever method you choose, go with something that’s doable for you.

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Homemade Natural Makeup Brush Cleaner

 Servings 1 1/2 cups

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup witch hazel
  • 2 tsp baby mild castile soap
  • 1 tsp skin-nourishing oil like olive oil, almond oil, or jojoba oil., optional
  • 1 cup distilled water

Instructions

  1. In a bottle or mason jar, combine all the ingredients in the order listed (the recipe). Shake the bottle.

  2. Swirl makeup brushes in the mixture to clean.

  3. Carefully blot brushes to remove excess dirt and oils.

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Love your body: My Favourite Natural Soaps for Nurturing Skin

Hello Lovely,

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Being a big supporter of natural skin products, I wanted to try natural soaps.  The first time I used the Sea Salt and Olive Oil soap from Kiss My Face was in 2015. The result was smooth and moisturised skin but also a slippery tub, so be very careful when using oil-based products.  The key to selecting the right natural soap is not only finding your favourite scents (lavender, vanilla, orange) but also the best ingredients for your skin such as:

  • Alpha Hydroxy Acids - fruit acids which reduce fine lines and provide gentle exfoliation

  • Shea Butter - reduces flaking, redness or peeling

  • Olive Oil – a natural healing oil with vitamin E and antioxidants

  • Sea Salt - can help balance, protect and restore the skin as well as remove irritation

  • Coconut Oil – a nourishing oil that is rich in fatty acids

  • Tea Tree Oil – a natural anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and  antimicrobial Some studies have even shown that Tea Tree Oil is as powerful against acne as benzoyl peroxide

  • Aloe Vera – detoxes you from the inside out as well as an anti-fungal

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I’m happy to say that the majority of these ingredients are found in the Nubian Heritage brand.  They have a wide collection including Coconut & Papaya, Carrot & Pomegranate as well as Raw Shea Butter soaps. The company is a firm believer in coconut oil in the majority of its soaps.  I was looking for a moisturising and nourishing cleanser for my skin, minus the harsh chemicals or dyes so I selected the Peppermint & Aloe and Goat’s Milk & Chai soaps based on the ingredients and the effect I wanted on my skin.

The Goat’s Milk & Chai was very nurturing and soothing for my skin.  Having sensitive skin, I was happy to find a soap made specifically for this skin type. The combination of rose petals, extract and water provided a light perfume scent and added a floral feeling to my usual shower.  The combination of goat’s milk, coconut oil and organic Shea butter left my skin feeling soft and supple.

The Peppermint Soap had more of a refreshing effect, with the crushed almonds providing exfoliation.  The baking soda left a squeaky clean feel as its alkaline nature acts as a cleanser and toner for your skin.  I always felt very clean and buffered after using this soap.  The soap also included Aloe juice and Sweet Almond Oil.  

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Overall these products have had a better effect on my skin than unnatural, commercial soaps and I wouldn’t turn back.  I used them only on my body, not my face. I would recommend the Kiss My Face and Nubian Heritage brands as good starters but there are many other natural brands out there.  Use the list above to help find the best natural soap for you and give us your review.

XoX,

 

 

DIY Body Wash with Honey + Coconut Oil

Hi friends!

It's a new month, which means a new and clean start! And what better way to get a new and clean start than to make your own body wash?

Made with Three Simple Ingredients:

COCONUT OIL

Coconut oil isn't just for cooking: it's also a beauty multitasker that you can use to hydrate your skin, fight frizz, and reduce premature signs of aging.

RAW HONEY

It does wonders for a wide variety of skin ailments including: Acne and enlarged pores, Rosacea
Eczema, Hyperpigmentation, Sensitive, mature, and dull lifeless skin. Its antiseptic and antimicrobial properties make it great for healing cuts and burns by killing bacteria and fungus. Raw honey also contains gluconic acid, a mild alpha hydroxy acid that brightens the complexion, evens out skin tone, and lightens scars and age spots.

LIQUID CASTILE SOAP

Olive oil is what makes natural Castile soap ideal for the skin. It is the primary ingredient in Castile soap and it's the ingredient that gives the soap its mildness and gentleness. Free of synthetic fragrances and preservatives, pure castile soap is gentle enough for even the most sensitive skin. It is completely biodegradable and lacks the harsh chemicals that may pollute our groundwater.

I first saw this recipe/tutorial about two or three weeks ago and thought it would be amazing to try!  I thought maybe it would be cheaper than buying shower gel but now that I think about it, this actually costs more. Why does everything that's all natural and good for you have to cost more? I paid about $12 for the coconut oil, sometime last year (thank God this stuff lasts long), $7 for the honey, about $3 for the vitamin e and a little under $10 for the liquid castile soap. That's almost $32! The only good thing about this is with the bottle of castile soap that I got, I can make this recipe at least twice. But I can still buy shower gel for about $6-7 a pop. Even if I pay $7 per 16 oz. bottle, I can still buy 4 bottles and have $4 change. So this still isn't the most cost effective way to go all natural.

When I used it in the shower this morning, it lathered real nice (thanks to the foam-action pump on the bottle) so that felt good going on, but it left my skin feeling dry. Not dry as in under-nourished, dry like, squeaky clean dry. It's a feeling I'll have to get used to but at least I didn't feel icky and filmy. A little Jergens lotion afterwards and I felt silky smooth.

So if you're looking for an alternative to store-bought body wash for whatever your reason may be, I would suggest you try this little DIY! Even if only for the fun of it! 

DIY Body Wash with Honey + Coconut Oil

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup coconut oil
  • ¼ cup raw honey
  • ½ cup liquid Castile soap (I used the Rose scented Castile Soap so I skipped out on the essential oils)
  • 1 teaspoon vitamin E
  • 15 drops eucalyptus essential oil
  • 10 drops sweet orange essential oil
  • 10 drops lemon or grapefruit essential oil
  • An empty plastic/glass bottle with a pump (foam pumps are the best because it's just so much fun!)

Instructions

  • Scoop coconut oil into a microwave safe bowl and heat on medium setting for 30 seconds until melted. I was able to skip this step because I'm always leaving my coconut oil out at room temperature. I hate having the work so hard to scoop it up so I just leave it in liquid form, since most tutorials would have you melt it anyway.
  • Add honey, essential oils and vitamin E and whisk together.
  • Add Castile soap slowly, stirring gently to avoid creating suds.
  • Transfer to glass or plastic bottle.
  • Shake before each use.

You’ll notice the body wash separates as it sits so just shake it up before each use. I have not had any problems with the coconut oil solidifying, as long as it stays at room temperature, but if you’re worried about that you can use almond oil or even coconut milk instead. Personally I think I'll use coconut milk next time because coconut oil tends to dry out my skin and hair (I did once use it to cure my eczema).


Are you guys going to try this? Are there any other beauty products that you'd rather make yourself than buy? Sound off in the comment section below, or on my Facebook page!


XoX,

Olivia

Vermont Maple Smoothie

I’ve always thought of myself as a smoothie queen or at least one in training. So when I got my own copy (photocopy to be exact) of ‘The Smoothie Bible’, I was over the moon! I couldn’t help but brag to my friends and immediately made a list of all of the fruits I would need to purchase to get started. As you all know, I did a detox two week ago. It was semi-successful. Let me just say this: These are not detox recipes! Hallelujah! Don’t get me wrong, they were surprisingly tasty and very filling, but defending your decision to drink something that looks like green vomit, every day and looking at enticing food like pancakes and conch fritters can be a little depressing.

So this morning I opened the book to a random page and landed on this recipe: The Vermont Maple Smoothie. It falls under the Breakfast Blends category in the book (which is only second to my favourite, the drinkable desserts section). This smoothie probably offers very little health benefits, but you know what? It tastes good. And sometimes in life, you've gotta treat yourself. Especially, if you didn't get what you wanted yesterday on Valentine’s Day. This may be a little too sweet for some people to have first thing in the morning so I suggest you pair it with something dry (not necessarily bitter, but not sweet). I drank mine with a side of grits for a semi-healthy balance. I'm still sipping and will probably finish the rest during church today (if I don’t fall asleep to finish recovering from that concert last night)!

Vermont Maple Smoothie

(If only making for 1 serving, divide measurements by four)

Ingredients:

  • 3 containers ( ½ cup each or 1 ½ cups) unsweetened applesauce (I used Motts Cinnamon flavoured

  • 1 cup vanilla frozen yoghurt (I used plain non-fat probiotic yoghurt. I think it’s healthier for breakfast).

  • 1 cup milk (I used soy but you don’t have to)

  • 2 ice cubs

  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup

  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon (If you used cinnamon flavoured applesauce you can skip this)

  • Ground nutmeg (optional)

Directions:

  • Combine applesauce, yoghurt, milk, ice, maple syrup and cinnamon in blender; blend until smooth.

  • Pour into four glasses. Sprinkle with nutmeg. Serve immediately.


I hope you guys try this at home. Remember you can make any substitutions necessary to fit your diet. You can make a completely vegan version of this, if you want. The possibilities are endless! Stay tuned for more recipes!

XoX,

Olivia