With spring and spring like weather approaching, now might be a great time to relax and rejuvenate. We know what spring and summer hold; holiday celebrations, birthdays, backyard barbecues, late night star gazing and dinner on the patio, and it’s an exciting time of year. Rebirth and renewal are in the cards and spring challenges us to do more, so keep that in mind and take a second to recharge. Here are a few items for your tool kit when it comes to relaxing and doing your own spring cleaning.
Chamomile Soak-This will calm your skin and your mind as it relaxes you and helps you fall asleep faster…just in time for the jump ahead on the clocks. Just don’t use this if you have an allergy to chamomile or certain plants like ragweed.
- 4 cups of oatmeal
- 1 cup of chamomile tea (if you don’t have the loose kind, just rip open a few teabags)
- 5 drops of lavender essential oil
- cheesecloth/old clean pair of pantyhose cut 6-8 inches from the toe
Mix together the oatmeal, chamomile and lavender in a small bowl. Add the mixture to a cheesecloth or pantyhose and tie at the top to make a small satchel. Add the satchel to your bath water and . Soak for a minimum of 10-20 minutes and watch your worries disappear. Add the grape mask below for a glorious soak!
Grape Mask-Did you know that grapes are awesome exfoliators? Well they are! This has to be the easiest mask in history.
- 1 red grape (seriously…that’s it)
Cut the grape in half and remove any seeds if applicable. Rub the inside of the grape over your face and throat and let the fruit do it’s magic! Relax in the tub for about 5 minutes and rinse to reveal glowing, beautiful skin. Grapes contain natural acids and enzymes that brighten skin and help exfoliate the dead stuff.
Cucumber and Citrus infused Water – This water is absolutely delicious, simple and hydrating.
- 1/2 a cucumber
- 1/2 a lemon
- large jug
- filtered water
Slice the cucumber and lemons and add them to the jug, fill with water and stir. This mixture is better if it sits overnight because the flavours blend better. Sip and relax, your skin will thank you!
Here’s an awesome recipe for a deep conditioning hair mask. It’s perfect for the winter conditions that tend to dry out hair and cause static because it contains moisturizing ingredients that will make your stressed tresses say, “Ahhh!”
- 1/4 fresh avocado
- 1 tsp virgin coconut oil
- 1 tbsp of pure sesame oil (not the toasted kind)
- 3 drops of rosemary essential oil
Place all of the ingredients EXCEPT the rosemary in a small bowl and microwave for 30 seconds. Remove from microwave and stir in the rosemary oil. Apply to ends of hair, working your way up to the scalp. Massage gently and let it sit for 30 minutes while you relax. Shampoo and rinse, follow with your favourite conditioner and repeat once a month for best results!
So this is my reward for 45 minutes of HIIT on the treadmill. Sometimes you just have to dangle a carrot or 2 to motivate yourself. Anyways, this super simple, green clay face mask is perfect for oily or problem skin. My skin isn’t oily but it is problematic in terms of redness, sensitivities and itchiness especially in the winter. Green clay draws out the impurities and is soothing- sounds perfect.
I bought this at the local health food store awhile ago and the shelf life is indefinite, preferably 4-5 years though. I took 2 tbsp of clay and mixed with warm water just enough to make a paste. Then I spread it in my face and neck- wait 5-8 minutes then remove, follow with your favourite moisturizer. That’s it! Who knew beauty could be that simple and relaxing? 😜
Today I scored some awesome deals from the dollar store. I found the necessary things to make my own eye make-up remover, and an awesome hair spritzer. And the best part is, it was all three dollars or less! First let’s start with my finds…
So the gauze pads I found in the medical aisle with the band-aids and antiseptics. I found the jar in the glassware aisle and the baby oil (mineral oil) in the baby aisle obviously. To make this super easy eye make-up remover, I simply put the gauze in the glass jar and added 1/4 of the bottle of baby oil. I put the lid on and gave it a good shake.The gauze absorbed the oil and now I’ll just use as needed. It should keep indefinitely. Cost of eye make-up remover $6-$20, and I made it for $3.75, plus I’ve got a ton of left over gauze and baby oil to make as much as I need for awhile. Now on to the hair spritzer! Whenever we go on vacation somewhere warm and tropical, my hair never looks better. It’s definitely the warm air and the salty sea water! Here’s how to make your own at home and there are so many benefits but we’ll get to that in a minute…
So all you have to do is add 1/4 cup of the sea salt to the spray bottle. Fill the spray bottle with 3/4 full with warm water and shake. Use this on damp hair before styling and see the difference in the volume and health of your hair! Here are the benefits of using sea salt for hair as promised; First the sea salt spray will texturize your locks and can easily provide beachy waves or a tousled look. Secondly, there are tons of minerals in sea salt that nourish hair follicles and it’s great for people who have oily hair. Thirdly, the sea salt is unprocessed so it retains the most minerals! What to expect with the sea salt spritz? Voluminous, healthy, bouncy, shiny tresses with just a quick spritz!
The bag of sea salt cost $3.00 and the spray bottle was $1.25, compare that with a very popular, “Surf Spray,” and you’ll save $13.75! So here’s to beauty, saving money and looking and feeling great:)
I happen to suffer from brittle nails and the winter weather doesn’t especially help my situation. People who have brittle or soft nails know the frustration especially if you’ve had them recently manicured and one of them breaks or splits. I have an expert friend who has her own nail salon and she has given me some great tips over the years for keeping my nails looking great while also making them strong. Here is her special recipe for “Magic” Nail Oil.
- 2 tsp almond oil
- 1/2 tsp jojoba oil
- 3 drops lemongrass oil
- 2 drops lavender oil
Mix all of the ingredients and massage into nails in the morning and before bed. This will make your nails strong yet flexible and less prone to breaking and snags. She also has some awesome tips on how to properly apply nail polish at home. Here they are:
Before doing anything wash your hands with just water and pat dry-it’s important to not use soap because sometimes the ingredients stick to the nails surface causing an uneven coat. Fun fact: Did you know that 3,000 years ago some cultures painted their nails with egg whites, gelatin, bees wax and gum arabic?
- Prime your nails with a protective base coat, this will also allow for easier removal when changing polish colours.
- Stroke the colour down the center of the nail FIRST and then do the sides in 2-3 strokes. DO A HORIZONTAL STRIPE across the TOP of each nail (with the same colour) to seal the tips, this will also help with chipping and will help your paint job to last longer.
- Wait for the first coat to dry and add a second coat using the same method as step 2.
- Don’t apply more than 2 coats! It’s unnecessary and it can get gloopy.
- Apply a protective top coat after the second coat has dried and dip tips into cold water to set. Don’t touch anything for a while. TA-DA! You’re ready to show off your beautiful hands.
- Always use an acetone-free remover to keep your nails from drying out too much.
- Remember to use the “Magic” Nail oil between polishes to nourish your unpainted nails.
Thanks to our friend Janet for her awesome tips about paint and polish<3
Since it is the month of LOVE we thought we’d share some awesome beauty recipes that include simple ingredients that your body will love. So get to the kitchen and start mixing like a mad scientist!
Best Ever Brown Sugar Body Scrub:
- 1/4 cup brown sugar (sifted)
- 1/4 tsp vanilla extract (the real stuff is better)
- 4 tbsp extra virgin coconut oil
- 4 tbsp brewed coffee grounds (just the grounds not the liquid)
Mix all of the ingredients together. Once you start to stir the extra virgin coconut oil it will liquefy. The brown sugar acts as exfoliants that will smooth rough skin and the extra added bonus of the coffee grounds is skin tightening! The extra virgin coconut oil acts as an emollient that soothes and softens the skin. The vanilla is for the heavenly scent ;).In the shower gently rub in a circular motion, using a little extra on those rough spots such as elbows, knees, bottom of feet and hands. Rinse and enjoy a smooth, glowing bod!
Gorgeous Glow Face Mask:
- 2 tbsp unpasteurized honey (the kind that looks like wax, not the kind shaped like a bear)
- 1/2 cup plain full fat yogurt
- 2 tsp Kelp powder (powdered seaweed, this can be found in health food stores, just be sure there’s nothing added)
Mix all of the ingredients together. The mask will turn a wonderful green colour. Apply the mask evenly and relax in the tub with a good book while you wait for it to dry (10-15 mins). If you don’t know what to read, check out what we’re reading! In that time be prepared for your significant other or your cat to burst through the bathroom door and be slightly alarmed when they see it on your face…trust me on this one it never fails.Honey is an anti-inflammatory and great for soothing skin, the lactic acid (alpha-hydroxy acid) in yogurt dissolves dead skin cells and kelp tightens pores! This mask is the whole package. After the mask is dry/slightly dry, gently rinse with warm water and pat dry. Add your fave moisturizer and get glowing!
Beautiful, Bouncy, Shiny Hair:
- 1 can of Guinness Beer
- Your favourite shampoo (One preferably without sodium lauryl sulphate-foaming agent. Our fave brand is Living Proof Full Shampoo. Living Proof does NOT test on animals! And you can buy this at Sephora.)
- Your favourite conditioner (Ours is Living Proof Full Conditioner sold at Sephora)
Open the Guinness and let it sit until it goes flat (approx. 30 minutes), in the meantime shampoo hair and rinse well. Add the now flat Guinness beer to your locks, pouring the entire can over your head. Work the Guinness well into your strands and let it sit for 3-5 minutes. This may be uncomfortable because the beer was probably colder than the shower temp, but it will be worth it trust me! Follow with conditioner and dry and style as usual. Beer, especially Guinness, is AWESOME for hair because it’s full of protein and B vitamins that strengthen hair cuticles. It’s like a vitamin bath for your mane. Plus your significant other might be attracted by the scent-just in time for Valentine’s Day.
Like most of you, we spend a lot of time on our feet. Winter is especially hard on our tootsies because of thick socks that make our feet sweat, boots that start to feel uncomfortable after awhile and the general dryness in the air. Also training for a 30km race doesn’t do me any favours but I’m a sucker for punishment clearly. So a really awesome treat for tired feet is a very simple recipe that you can whip up quickly and before you know it you’ll be lounging on the sofa watching When Harry Met Sally while your feet are being pampered. Here’s what you’ll need:
- 1 cup of whole milk (or cream for an extra indulgent soak)
- 1 cup of warm water
- 10 drops of peppermint extract
- 1 fluffy towel
- 1 big basin that both of your feet will fit in
- A glass of your favourite wine (optional but recommended)
- 2 chocolate covered strawberries (optional but recommended)
Directions: Mix the milk, water and peppermint extract together in a microwave safe bowl. Heat until desired temperature (be careful not to make it too hot!) and then remove from microwave. Soak feet in the mixture for 10 minutes and relax! You deserve it! The lactic acid from the milk works as an exfoliator and the peppermint extract soothes achy, tired feet, while adding a wonderful scent. When the ten minutes are up wrap your feet in a warm, fluffy towel and elevate them. Your feet will thank you!
A Treat for Tired Feet! It’s like a vacation for them!