Tag Archives: beauty

Natural Beauty DIY: Better than Store-bought Facial Exfoliant

Most people know by now that commercial facial exfoliants with those little plastic micro beads are bad for the environment and have looked for alternatives.  Thank Goodness!

However, I don’t understand why people are willing to still buy products, containing other harmful ingredients, in packaging (that may or not be recyclable) and throw down a huge chunk of change to do it.  I just did a quick search and saw a dozen or so facial exfoliants, ranging in price from $5 to $50.  My facial exfoliant is all natural, only has two ingredients and costs practically nothing.  You can make it right now.

Honey-Sugar Facial Exfoliant

Pour approximately a tablespoon of honey onto a dish or in a small bowl.  Add a teaspoon of sugar. Mix them together.  Apply to damp skin in gentle circular motions with your fingertips.  Avoid your eye area.  (If any gets in your mouth, eat it!)  Rinse with warm water.  Voila! Beautiful smooth skin!

Sometimes, we seem to consume for no other reason than …just because.  Our inner child is lured by a shiny new package (destined to crowd landfills and pollute our oceans.)   We are looking for a quick fix to assuage our fears and insecurities.  So we buy something that we not only don’t need but may cause us harm either through artificial ingredients or by befouling Mama Earth.  Let’s top the madness; shall we?  Let’s take care of ourselves by being creative instead of blindly consuming.

How do exfoliate your skin?  Do you DIY your beauty products?  Leave me a reply.  I would love to hear from you.

Many blessings,


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Natural Lady: DIY Make-up Remover and Reusable Rounds

It took me a very long time to find an eye make-up remover that I liked.  A lot of them would sting my eyes or leave my skin chafed.  I found I really like the make-up remover wipes from Trader Joe’s but they were quite pricey. There were only 20 in a pack, requiring me to buy 2 a month.  All that plastic packaging and disposable material made me feel a little guilty.  So, I decided to try to make my own.

I culled through dozens of Do-it-yourself recipes on the internet.  They were wildly disparate and contradictory at times but three ingredients kept coming up over and over: witch hazel, water and some kind of oil.  Of course, I could find little consensus on how much to pour of each in order to make a bottle.  So, I decided not to use a bottle at all.

reusable rounds

I use a reusable round (mine are made out of bamboo and are really more oblong) and I put a drop of jojoba oil on it, followed by a drop of witch hazel and then I spritz it with rose water.  And voila! It works great and doesn’t sting.

Effectiveness is only one benefit.  There are others. I like keeping all these ingredients separate because I use them all separately as well.  By combining them as needed, on the spot, I am less likely to run out of anything and not have it available to use for another purpose.  Oh my goodness, the money you save!  I used to spend between around $10 a month on those wipes.  I have had that bottle of witch hazel for years.  Jojoba lasts a really long time too because you need to use so little of it.  The rose water I go through fairly quickly but that’s only because I like to spray all over my body from head to toe.

Do you think you will give it a try?  Do you have your own formula?  Leave me a reply in the comments section.

Many blessings,


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Natural Hair Care: Are You Caring for Your Hair or Just Styling It?

I stopped coloring my hair sometime in the spring of 2012.  I figured at a certain point in life, you just have to be good enough the way you are.  And I figured if my hair is more brown than blonde these days, well, I’m still loveable.

When I moved in with my folks after Hurricane Sandy, Mom threatened for a while to highlight my hair while I was sleeping… “Come on, just a few to frame your face, Cindy.”  She realized though that I was serious about going natural and eventually gave up.

My natural hair care has since gone even wilder than putting a halt on chemical color.  I noticed that although my hair wasn’t breaking off as much when I stopped, it still seemed to break more than I felt it should.  A little investigation revealed that harsh chemicals aren’t just in hair color and lighteners; they are in nearly every mass-market, commercial hair product we use.   I’m not just talking about mousse, hairspray and gel; they are in your shampoo and conditioner too.  Grab a bottle of anything you use on your hair (or face or body) and see how many of the ingredients you can pronounce.

In the interest of keeping your interest and this blog post a considerate length, I will not be explaining the perils of every ingredient.  (You’re welcome!) One of the biggest culprits in shampoo and body washes is Sodium Laureth (Lauryl) Sulfate, a foaming agent.  Ohhhh, I like a rich foamy lather!  The problem is Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) is a known skin and eye irritant.  It’s kind of funny that we would choose to slather our skin with something that irritates it.  Are we all a bunch of masochists?  The other big concern with SLS is the manufacturing process, know as ethoxylation, produces 1,4 dioxane contamination, a known carcinogen.  Products with SLS contain traces of these 1,4 dioxanes.

It’s easy to dismiss it and say “weeeeelllll, if it is only trace amounts… is it really going to cause cancer?”  Well, I don’t know but when you consider how often most people wash their hair and skin… you are putting this stuff all over your body every day!  That’s a pretty significant environmental toxin if you ask me.

Sulfates are not just potentially poisonous; they also damage your hair and skin.  Ironic, right?  Harsh chemicals in all types of hair care products are dehydrating your hair and stripping off the natural oils that make your hair naturally soft and shiny.  The more products you use, the more you damage your hair.  Then the more you damage your hair, you use even MORE products to make it look shiny and healthy again.  The crazy part is that if we didn’t use these products (or heated styling tools) our hair would be shiny and healthy!  Even more ironic, right?!

Americans never used to wash or style their hair this much.  I remember my Nana would get her hair washed and set once a week.  That shellac-ed masterpiece looked about the same going into the salon, as it did coming out.  I don’t want my hair to look like a helmet but it does show, you can go a week without shampooing and your hair won’t smell or look greasy.

You might think your hair is especially oily and needs to be shampooed every day.  I did.  However, the truth is that is how you trained your scalp.  When you constantly strip your natural oils away, your scalp makes more oil to compensate.  When you stop shampooing all the time, your scalp will slow down the oil production.  At this point, I wash my hair twice a week: on Wednesdays, I shampoo and condition it (with a low hazard, organic shampoo and conditioner); over the weekend, I do a baking soda wash and apple cider vinegar rinse (acv).  I have fine hair.  So, if it looks a touch oily in between washes, I sprinkle a little arrow root powder on it to absorb the oil.  I find this also creates volume at the roots.  How nifty is that?  No mousse or hairspray.  All natural, you can even eat it.

A good rule of thumb in general… if you wouldn’t put it in your mouth, you probably want to at least limit how much you put on your skin.

So, tell me, how often do you shampoo?

Love and Blessings to all,



Are you intrigued by washing your hair with baking soda and rinsing it with apple cider vinegar?  Crunchy Betty has already laid it out brilliantly http://www.crunchybetty.com/no-poo-to-you-too

Would you like to know the hazard level on the products you use?  Then you might want to check out the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Database,  http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/  There is an app you can download to your smartphone or apple mobile device to scan bar codes.  So, you can be informed before you purchase.

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Naturally Beautiful: What does it mean?

This one is not so easy for me…

A week or so ago a video of Dustin Hoffmann went viral in which he described his experience of being perceived as a woman while prepping for his role in Tootsie.  It was very moving because he broke down when he realized that he couldn’t look as beautiful as he wanted to.  He realized that, as a woman, he would be passed over based on his appearance, despite being an interesting and worthwhile person in so many ways.  He realized that he, himself, had done that to many women who did not meet his physical requirements of beauty.

I found this particularly moving because I‘ve been struggling somewhat with my appearance since my top eight front teeth were damaged in March.  A friend of mine inquired about my “love life” recently, I sort of snorted and replied, “Hahahhaha, it would take a very special or very un-special man to look past my banged up grill.”

The funny part about all this is I am not a fussy gal.  Before this happened, you were just as likely to see me in sweats and no make-up, as you were to see me done up.  I’ve never been a perfect specimen but I was pretty and had learned over the years that I cleaned up well when I wanted to.  I just didn’t worry about it.  Now I do.  I am much more careful about putting myself together because I don’t feel like myself without my smile.  I wear a decent appliance that covers my missing front tooth but when I start to smile, I can feel my top lip getting close to the top edge of the device and I quickly yank it back down.  It really sucks being this self-conscious all the time.  And before I had the appliance, I did notice a difference in the way people reacted toward me.

I do know one special guy who never makes me feel self-conscious about the way I look, my dad.  A few weeks ago, he had to have a tooth pulled.  My dad is a handsome guy but he had a completely different attitude about it.  He made pirate noises and seemed to get a kick out of flashing his space at my mother.  He started referring to himself as Big Gap and me as Little Gap.  “You call that a gap, Cindy.  That’s not a gap.  This is a real gap!” He even convinced me to take this photo.  No small feat.  It is the first one since I fell.

Big Gap and Little Gap

I am not sure I can be as laid-back about my damaged teeth as Dad is, but this dental reconstruction is going to be a long haul and the final result is not guaranteed.  Soon I will have to wear braces for the first time in my life.  So, I realize it would be a good idea to figure how to handle the situation with grace and humor.  Maybe that is the most natural beauty you can acquire.  I haven’t got it all figured out yet but I am so grateful that I have Dad to light the way for me.

Love and blessings to all,


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