3 Natural Nail Care Recipes

Manicure

Manicure (Photo credit: trec_lit)

Happy Friday Ladies (and Gentlemen)! We hope your week was beautiful, and if it wasn’t then perhaps trying out these recipes this weekend will send it back in the right direction! Many of the products that nail salons use are effective but full of nasty chemicals. What’s a girl to do? Abandon all nail care? We think that isn’t really an option. Instead try out these simple, natural DIY recipes to give yourself a manicure at home.

Follow it up with some eco-friendly ZOYA polish and your hands will be good to go! So here are the recipes 🙂

Natural Cuticle Softener

  • Apple Cider Vinegar – yup that’s all you need. Soak your nails in undiluted apple cider vinegar for a few minutes and then clean up the cuticle bed with a nail pusher. Don’t like the smell of apple cider vinegar? Add a few drops of your favorite essential oil… or just follow this up with a delicious smelling hand scrub!

Natural Nail Strengthening Soak

  • 2 egg yolks, beaten
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 tbs honey

Just mix the ingredients in a small bowl and soak your nails in it for 10-15 minutes. Follow up with cuticle oil. We love using apricot or almond oil as cuticle oil!

Natural Apricot Hand Scrub

  • 1/2 cup of brown sugar
  • 2 tbs lemon juice

     

  • 2 tbs apricot oil

Combine the ingredients in a bowl and then massage into your hands! Rinse with warm water and dry with a clean towel! Try not to eat this delicious scrub!

Have you ever given yourself a complete manicure at home? Or do you usually just head to the salon?

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Show Your Locks Some Love With This DIY Deep Conditioner!

Image from Hybrid Rasta Mama.

Today we’ve got a simple recipe that will recharge your hair’s moisture all year long: from the cold winter months all the way to the hot and sunny summer days. This treatment is also crucial if you regularly dry, straighten, or color your hair. All three things strip hair of it’s natural oils leading to split ends and straw like strands (yuck). To replenish moisture and shine try this DIY deep conditioner 1-2 times a week, and we are sure you’ll see results.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. raw, cold-pressed coconut oil
  • Small glass bowl
  • Spoon for mixing

Directions:

  1. In a microwave safe glass bowl, heat and melt the coconut oil in 30 second increments.
  2. Add the olive oil to the bowl and stir to combine. Make sure it’s not too hot to touch by feeling the bowl.
  3. Then use your hands to apply the oil mixture to your hair, focusing on the ends and leaving your scalp alone. Comb through the oil to make sure it’s evenly distributed.
  4. Put your hair into a braid, or a top knot, or cover with a shower cap and let it sit for at least 3-4 hours. If you really want to condition your hair apply this right before bed and rinse out in the morning.
  5. After 3-4 hours you can shampoo and condition as normal. Repeat 1-2 times a week for optimal results.

How do you get your hair into tip-top shape?

 

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3 Hair Tutorials We Love & Some Changes!

Hello and happy Friday to all of our beautiful readers! You may have noticed this week we didn’t post on our usual Tuesday/Thursday schedule. We are switching things up a little and will be posting 1 day a week on Friday’s now. So plan on checking in then for the latest and greatest style tips, beauty advice, and all natural beauty recipes!

This week we’ve got 3 great hair tutorials from around the web that deliver amazing results with pretty minimal effort or experience. So this weekend get some bobby pins and give your do a little makeover.

Half-Up Braided Crown from A Cup of Jo – this is such a pretty and simple hair style, it should take only a few minutes to create. It would be perfect for a date or wearing to work/school. The tutorial is great with pictures and step-by-step directions to guide you along the way. And Joanna’s blog is pretty fantastic too!

Half-Up Braided Crown from Cup of Jo

A Modern Bun from Jetting to the Wedding – this is such a great updo, and as the name of the blog suggests, would be perfect for a DIY Wedding updo. But if you don’t have any nuptials planned in the near future this bun would be the perfect look for work!

A Modern Bun from Jetting to the Wedding.

Fishtail Braid by Chanel Dror for Camille Styles – who doesn’t love a fishtail braid? And even though it looks complicated it is so easy to learn and takes minutes to do. If this tutorial doesn’t help as much you can check out this video to guide you as well!

Fishtail Braid Tutorial from CamilleStyles.com.

If you give these styles a try let us know what you think (feel free to share pictures or links)! Have a great weekend 🙂

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3 Foods To Add To Your Diet for Beautiful Skin

Image from Demand Studios

We’ve all heard it before: what you eat plays a big role in the way you look AND how you feel. Most people’s New Years resolutions involve eating healthier and exercising. And if this is part of your goal for 2013, you’ll be happy to know your skin and hair will also see great results! We suggest adding some of these foods to your diet to achieve a slimmer waist line and beautiful skin. And better yet, we’ve paired each up with a recipe for some green DIY skin care!

  1. Almonds – these seeds (no they are not nuts) are full of Vitamin E, which are helpful in blocking harsh UV rays from the sun! The key is to not overdo it on the seeds/nuts, about 20 almonds a day is the perfect snack.
  2. Leafy Greens – Kale, spinach, or collard greens are a great way to pack in some extra nutrients without packing on the calories. These green veggies are high in water (great for smoothing wrinkles) and nutrients (for restoring and protecting your body’s cells), and have been shown to reduce cancer risks in some people.
  3. Flax Seeds – High in Omega-3 fatty-acids, flax seeds are well equipped to erase spots and fine lines on your face. They are great for irritated skin! We suggest sprinkling some ground flax seeds (you must grind them to get their nutritional benefit) on your oatmeal, cereal, or in a smoothie.
    • If you have oily skin or old acne scars give this Flax Seed Facial Scrub from Skin Care For Your Soul a try!

What are your favorite health foods for beautiful skin?

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Color Your Hair Naturally with Henna

Feel like giving your hair color a boost? I know I do with all the color-changing leaves and gorgeous red and orange hues of fall! Why not give a natural alternative to chemical laden hair dyes a try? This week at Y&L we wanted to talk about a natural hair dye, Henna! Most hair dyes rely on toxic chemicals like peroxide or ammonia that strip the hair follicles so that the hair will take the color. These chemicals are bad for your health, your hair’s health, and the environments health.

When I made the switch to safe cosmetics I was determined to find a safe alternative that would give my hair a nice boost of burgundy and auburn color that I so dearly crave. Henna is the only safe, natural, and chemical free hair color on the market. Even most of natural brands for sale at stores like Whole Foods still contain chemicals that strip your hair, drying it out, and have potential links to things like cancer and brain damage (yuck)!

I was a little intimidated by Henna at first, and distraught at the time it takes for the color to set. But after months of using Henna I’ve got it down to a great routine and have worked out most of the kinks—leaving me with a great burgundy glow in my brunette locks! I personally swear by Light Mountain’s Natural Hair Color & Conditioner. This product only uses henna and indigo (for some color varieties) to achieve a decent range of colors. It is under $6 a box, and I am able to dye my medium length hair at least twice with the powder in one box (talk about affordable). A couple of things to note about Henna:

  • You cannot lighten your hair with henna, it will only get more red or darker/more brown. In general henna will deepen and enhance your natural color. For me, it brings out the auburn and burgundy tones in my brown hair. I get a lot of compliments from professional stylists about my color and they would die if they knew (a) I did it myself, and (b) I did it with henna!
  • Henna can add highlights to darker hair and darken lighter hair.
  • The color is not permanent; it lasts 4-6 weeks.
  • Henna is a great conditioning treatment for your hair. Unlike other dyes it will actually improve the health of your hair with use!
  • Henna has an unusual smell, but so does hair dye. It can take a few washes to get all of the henna particles out of your hair.

There are some tips and tricks I have found for effectively applying henna. First and foremost be patient. Be generous when mixing the henna and waiting for it to activate. Let it sit on your head as long as possible! Patience is probably the one thing that keeps people from realizing the awesomeness that is dying your hair with henna. My personal henna recipe for a burgundy shade is:

  • 3 Tbsp Light Mountain Natural Henna in Red
  • 3 Tbsp Light Mountain Natural Henna in Burgundy
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1-2 Tbsp of lemon juice or apple cider vinegar
  • Enough boiling water to make a paste

I mix the ingredients in a glass bowl with a wooden spoon and let it sit for about 2 hours, sometimes 2.5 hours. After 2 hours have passed if the mix is super thick I add a little more boiling water. Then I put on some gloves and a wrap a towel around my shoulders to apply the goop with my hands onto my head. Starting at the scalp and working it through my hair. Once my whole head is covered, I wrap it in a heating shower cap, then two pieces of saran wrap, then a fabric head wrap. I leave it on for at least 5 hours. Sometimes what I do to save time is apply the mix at night, wrap it up real tight, lay an old towel on my pillow and sleep with the mix on my head. I rinse it out with conditioner in the shower and use a fine tooth comb to help remove the pieces of henna.

It sounds like a lot of work, but if you do it right before bed, it is really no biggie. And it is so much more affordable, more beautiful, and better for my health and the environment than traditional dye! My favorite resource for dying your hair with henna are The Henna for Hair Page, where people share their mixes and pictures for getting great henna results.

Have you ever used henna hair dye? What was your experience like?

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DIY: Hydrating Avocado Hair Mask

Aguacate / Avocado

Aguacate / Avocado (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Did your days in the summer sun and swimming in the pool give your hair a beating? Or do cooler and drier fall days reek havoc on your tresses? If so we have a recipe for a natural DIY hydrating hair mask for you to try out today. It is sure to have your hair feeling balanced, soft, and happier! Oh and it’s all natural and made from easy to find and affordable ingredients—win, win, win!

Ingredients:

  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 1 tbsp of wheatgerm oil or olive oil
  • A few drops of essential oils, such as lavender, rose, or sweet orange

Directions:

  1. Mash up all the ingredients in a bowl or a blender.
  2. Shampoo, comb out any tangles, and towel dry your hair.
  3. Apply the mask to your hair (including your scalp if you’d like).
  4. Cover it up with a shower cap and wrap it up in saran wrap. Allow the mask to sit for at least 15 minutes (but feel free to let it sit longer).
  5. Rinse out the mask in the shower, be sure to use a drain catch to keep banana and avocado from clogging the drain.
  6. Enjoy your happy hydrated hair!

Do you have any recipes for homemade hair treatments you’d like to share with our readers?

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