3 Natural Nail Care Recipes


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.


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


  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 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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Beauty Books On Our Holiday Wish List!

We have shared a few recipes for DIY beauty treatments here on Y&L, and don’t worry we still have more to share! But we thought today we’d share some beauty books that are at the top of our Christmas wish list! These books are full of great recipes, style advice, and inspiration. Enjoy 🙂

EcoBeauty: Scrubs, Rubs, Masks, and Bath Bombs for You and Your Friends

This nifty little book was written by Janice Cox and contains over 100 recipes for you to make at home. The recipes make great gifts, and so does this book—available at Amazon for only $13.59!

How To Be Lovely: The Audrey Hepburn Way of Life

In 10 chapters, author Melissa Hellstern shares the wisdom and spirit of one of the world’s most adorably beautiful women: Audrey Hepburn. This book covers both external and internal growth and beauty. A must read for any Audrey fan, and any woman really! Available for just $12.89 on Amazon.

Savvy Chic: The Art of More for Less

Our last recommendation is Savvy Chic by Anna Johnson. This book is an inspirational book on how to look stylish and sophisticated even on a tight budget! Pick it up for just $12.91 on Amazon!

What are some of your favorite beauty reads? Have you read any of our recommendations? What are your thoughts?


DIY Lip Scrub: Give Your Pout A Refresh!

Fall and winter bring drier weather and chapped lips. There are plenty of companies selling lip exfoliators and scrubs that work well, but they cost a pretty penny! So instead save your coin for a more important beauty expenditure (like a trip to the salon) and make your own lip scrub. We’ve got a great recipe that you can whip up in minutes for pennies.


  • 1 Tsp Coconut Oil (If you don’t have coconut oil you can use olive or almond oil, but coconut has antifungal and antibacterial properties that make it better for storing).
  • 1/4 Tsp Honey
  • 2 Tbsp Brown Sugar
  • Stirrer For Mixing
  • Plastic or Glass Jar For Storage


  1. Warm up the coconut oil in a microwave or on the stove so that it liquifies  and will mix easier.
  2. Pour the coconut oil, honey and brown sugar into a jar or container with a capacity of around 1/4 cup.
  3. Mix to combine the ingredients.
  4. Wet your lips and using a clean finger apply some scrub and gently exfoliate the skin on your lips.
  5. Rinse with warm water and apply your favorite balm.
  6. Store in the jar with a tight lid.

This scrub is super tasty and easy to make, and will have your lips looking fresh in no time flat. Oh and the scrub would make a really cute and simple christmas gift for friends! You can get creative with the packaging and even add an essential oil for fragrance.

Do you currently use a lip scrub? Have you ever tried making your own? If you do try this let us know what you think 🙂

DIY: Moisturizing Body Oil

At Y&L we have talked a lot about the importance of moisturizing, especially your face. But today we want to focus on giving the rest of your body some TLC. Soft, smooth, and hydrated skin keeps you looking and feeling great. But keeping your skin soft and hydrated gets complicated with the cooler and drier weather of the fall and winter months. For the longest time I would layer on store bought lotion daily (sometimes more than once!) thinking it was the best I could do to fight dry skin. And when I decided to switch to safe and natural body products, I looked into creating my own lotion. Recipes called for a long list of ingredients and the use of a stove… a little too much work for me given how much lotion I use. So I started considering a body oil—and now I am a body oil convert! It is so simple to make, and when you apply the oil before toweling off in the shower you seal in all that extra moisture. My skin is softer and happier than ever! If you’ve never used body oil as a daily moisturizer give this recipe a try. It’s very affordable compared to store bought brands and contains no harmful ingredients! You can use whichever essential oils you like to create a unique scent. Here is my recipe!


  • 1/4 cup organic unrefined coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup jojoba oil
  • 1/4 cup almond oil
  • 10-15 drops of your favorite essential oil (feel free to mix or match just keep it around 15 drops total). I love mixing vanilla and orange essential oils for a sweet scent!
  • Glass bottle, jar with a airtight top or stopper. I use a teal glass soap pump I purchased from Target to store my oil in!


  1. Depending on the temperature in your home, you may need to warm the coconut oil before you can easily pour it. Just put the jar of oil in a bowl of warm water or run it under hot water to liquefy it.
  2. Combine all three oils and the essential oils of your choice into the glass bottle, jar, or soap pump and shake it up!
  3. Apply your body oil after your shower before you towel off for optimal moisture retention!

What are your favorite scents for this body oil recipe?

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DIY Makeup Remover & Moisturizer

Reusable Organic Cotton Rounds by Baby Zing on Etsy

As an avid fan of heavy eyeliner and mascara, finding a makeup remover that gets the job done without damaging the sensitive skin around my eyes is key. I have used a variety of makeup removers: makeup removing pads, makeup removing washes, tissues, cotton balls, and cold cream. Pond’s cold cream was my favorite eye makeup remover for a long time. It was creamy, smooth, and moisturizing while it removed all of my eyeliner. But after truly analyzing the ingredients list on my store-bought cold cream I became a little concerned and began looking to alternatives.

I scoured the aisles of Whole Foods and Pharmaca looking for a “natural” remover that would work and contain safe ingredients. But each one I tried resulted in dried skin, burning, and tugging around my eyes (eek!). So I resolved to making my own cold cream sans harsh chemicals. It is pretty easy to do, and the ingredients are super affordable. I store my homemade cold cream in Humangear’s GoTubb, but you could also store it in a glass jar or an old container of moisturizer. Here is the recipe:


  • 1/4 tsp. borax
  • 1/4 cup distilled water
  • 1/2 almond oil
  • 1/2 oz (by weight) of grated beeswax (or just a little over two tablespoons)


  1. In a (1-cup) glass measure cup, dissolve the borax in the water and set aside.
  2. Combine the oil and beeswax in a larger (2-cup) glass measuring cup.
  3. Heat the oil/beeswax mix in a microwave until the beeswax is melted and the mixture is clear. (Start with 30 seconds at a time).
  4. Heat the borax/water mix in a microwave for a minute – almost to boiling.
  5. Slowly pour the borax/water mixture into the oil/beeswax mixture, using a stick blender to mix as you pour. Now beat well with the stick blender until the mix is glossy white and thicken.
  6. Pour or scoop (with a silicone spatula) the (hot) cold cream into the reusable container of your choosing (it should have a tight lid).
  7. Let it cool to room temperature.

*Tips: I store my cold cream in two of the Humangear GoTubbs and leave one in the fridge and the other in the bathroom. This helps to keep the cold cream fresh!

You may be wondering whether borax (the emulsifier) in this recipe is safe (I know I did). The Environmental Working Group (EWG) reports that it has it’s dangers—especially if ingested. I came across another blogger that conducted months of research on borax and summarizes it quite nicely (read it here). The bottom line for me—it is safe to use in my cold cream, but I won’t be eating it! This cold cream is very moisturizing, affordable, and free of all those synthetic ingredients in store bought brands. I love using these reusable organic cotton rounds in tandem with this cold cream to keep my eyes looking young!

Do you make any of your own beauty products?

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