2 DIY Avocado Summer Spa Recipes

Aguacate / Avocado

Aguacate / Avocado (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Hey there Y&L readers 🙂 Happy Friday! Today we wanted to share some summer beauty recipes featuring a warm weather ingredient—avocados! Avocadoes are great for moisturizing and soothing skin and hair that’s been dried out from a day at the beach or pool! So this weekend treat yourself to one of these at-home spa remedies.

Avocado Face Mask

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 a very ripe avocado
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon coconut oil

Directions:

  1. Peel the avocado and mash it well.
  2. Add the honey and coconut oil and stir to combine.
  3. Apply to a clean dry face, avoiding your eyes, and leave on for about 10-15 minutes.
  4. After your mask had time to work it’s magic, take a warm wet wash cloth and wipe your face clean.
Avocado Hair Mask Recipe:
Ingredients:
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tsp. olive oil
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1/2 an avocado

Directions:

  1. Whisk together the egg yolk, extra-virgin olive oil, and honey together in a small bowl.
  2. Mash in 1/2 of an avocado with a fork.
  3. While you’re in the shower, apply the paste first to the ends of your hair and then all over your hair.
  4. Let it soak into your strands for 15 to 20 minutes, rinse it out, shampoo, and then rinse
How do you keep your strands and skin happy during summer activities?
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Product Review: Organic Wear Natural Origin Loose Powder

Organic wearâ„¢ 100% Natural Origin Loose Powder – $10.50 on Amazon

Hello there lovelies! Last week we shared some top picks for primer, and today we wanted to share a review of one of our favorite and budget friendly loose powders—Physician’s Formula Organic Wear Natural Origin Loose Powder! Yes we know it’s been out for a long time, but it’s always good to bring back the oldies (but goodies). Loose powder is clutch for setting your makeup and keeping oil at bay during the summer. But many powders contain nasty ingredients, so choose wisely. We love this powder for it’s natural ingredients, affordability, coverage, and mattifying look. The translucent light is perfect for fair skin tones, giving your skin a matte look while hiding redness and imperfections. It does a decent job of keeping oil at bay, but depending on your skin’s oil levels you probably will need an afternoon touch up. You get a ton of product for just $10.50 on Amazon, or $13.95 in most stores. This one bottle will last you all year—no joke. The brush leaves something to be desired. It’s pretty coarse, but that is a common complaint amongst most reviewers. The little mirror is more useful for checking your eye makeup or covering a pimple versus applying your foundation. If you want a safe (EWG rating of only 2) and effective loose powder pick this stuff up (use your own brush) and you will not be disappointed! Have you tried this loose powder? What did you think?

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Skin As Soft As A Baby: Review of California Baby Super Sensitive Lotion as Facial Moisturizer

California Baby Super Sensitive Lotion, Image by Jacqualyn Blizzard.

California Baby Super Sensitive Lotion, Image by Jacqualyn Blizzard.

Happy Friday everybody! We hope your Valentines’ Day was a blast, and if it wasn’t take comfort in this soothing moisturizer. California Baby makes amazing organic, non-toxic, and earth-safe goodies for little ones. But did you know, many of their products work wonders for adults! We are always in search of great facial moisturizers that work for sensitive skin and are non-comedogenic. And with California Baby’s Super Sensitive Everyday Lotion we have found a winner.

This lotion is a great facial moisturizer. It’s fragrance free and  non-comedogenic and full of great ingredients like calendula and rosemary! We’ve tested it out on our sensitive skin and so far so good. It’s a nice light moisturizer that gives your skin a smooth and soft feel. So far no breakouts either. A 6.5 fl oz. bottle will only set you back about $15. You can find it at Whole Foods, Target, online,  and many natural food stores. Look for our review of their calendula cream coming soon as a more decadent facial moisturizer!

Have a beautiful weekend!

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Banish Blemishes: DIY Recipe for Treating Breakouts!

DIY Makeup Remover Round 2! Whew… it’s Thursday already? This week went by so quickly… which isn’t a bad thing!  Today we’ve got a recipe to share from the amazing book, Organic Body Care Recipes by Stepahnie Tourles. If you’ve struggled with acne, or even if you just get the occasional breakout this recipe may be just the cure you’ve been searching for. A word of caution though, acne is a tricky beast. We tend to OVER-treat our skin. In general less is more, and the same holds true for skin care. So try to use fewer creams, fewer washes, fewer scrubs, containing fewer ingredients. It’s important to be gentle to your skin. The hardest part of treating acne is finding the patience to wait. It just takes time, months even, for your skin to rid itself of all the built up bacteria and regenerate.

Okay, enough lecture 😉 onto the spot treatment. This recipe is great for “active” breakouts because it helps to fight subsurface acneic bacteria, reducing redness and eliminating toxins in your skin. It’s also fantastic to use on ingrown hairs around your bikini line! You can apply up to 2 times/day and the recipe is good to store for up to 6 months.

Ingredients:

  • 4 drops tea tree oil
  • 2 drops clove essential oil
  • 2 drops German chamomile essential oil
  • 2 drops green myrtle essential oil
  • 2 tsp. hazelnut or apricot kernel base oil (try to choose organic when possible)
  • 1 tsp almond base oil (again, go for organic if you can)
  • 1 dark glass storage bottle with a dropper (you can find these at many health food stores like Whole Foods)

Directions:

  1. Make sure the glass bottle is cleaned and dry.
  2. Add the essential oils drop by drop into the glass bottle.
  3. Add the base oils (use a funnel if that helps)
  4. Put the lid back on the bottle then shake the formula in your hand vigorously for 2 minutes. This thoroughly mixes the ingredients and warms the mixture to body temperature.
  5. This step requires some patience… set the bottle in a dark spot (like a medicine cabinet or drawer) and let it sit for 24 hours to let the oils really blend.
  6. To use: clean your skin, and apply any astringent or toner that is part of your routine. Then drop 1-2 drops of the blemish banner into your palm, dip a cotton swab into the oil and dab onto each breakout. You could also drop 1 drop on the cotton swab itself and then apply.

Again this recipe works well for treating acne, ingrown hairs, and even bug bites! So give it a try and let us know what you think! Have a beautiful weekend 🙂

DIY Skin Care: Oatmeal Skin Smoother

Image from Women Z Mag.

Sometimes your skin needs a little refreshing, but abrasive scrubs can just be too much. Today we’ve got a recipe for a mask or smoother that provides very gentle exfoliation and leaves your skin so soft and smooth! The best part is you can mix up the dry ingredients and store them in a jar for an easy mask/smoother anytime!

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup ground oatmeal (you can grind oats in a food processor or coffee grinder)
  • 1/2 cup powdered milk
  • Purified water

Directions:

  • Mix the dry ingredients in a bowl. Put the ingredients in a glass jar or storage container of your choice. It should keep for at least 6 months stored this way.
  • To create a scrub or mask add 2 tsp. of scrub mixture with 1 to 2 tsp water until a paste is formed.
  • Let the mixture stand and thicken for 1 minute.
  • Apply with your fingers and massage into your face and throat. If you are using it as a scrub rinse with water, if you are using it as a mask let it sit and dry for 20 to 30 minutes.

A fun variation would be adding ground dried lavender or chamomile tea leaves for an extra soothing experience! Have you used an oatmeal mask before?

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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DIY Moisturizing Hand Mask: Great For At-Home Manicures!

Today we’ve got the perfect DIY spa recipe (adapted from Green Beauty Recipes) that delivers the TLC your hands deserve. This would be great if you work a lot with you hands or if winter weather has them dry. If you are doing an at home spa day or manicure why not try this mask after shaping your nails and trimming cuticles? All you need are 4 simple ingredients for softer, happier hands 🙂

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp fine sugar or salt
  • 1 tbsp honey or agave
  • 1 raw egg yolk OR 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp full-fat cream (you could use soy if you are only using vegan products)

Directions:

  1. Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and stir.
  2. Apply a generous layer of the mask to your hands and massage it into your fingertips. Or if you are lucky get someone to do it for you.
  3. Put on some gloves or plastic bags and let the mask sit for 15 minutes.
  4. After 15 minutes you can rinse off the mask with warm water.

*** You can only store this mixture in your fridge for a week if you use olive oil instead of an egg.

If you are looking for some fun ways to change up this mask consider adding your favorite essential oils. Lavender works great for relaxing, but citrus essential oils would be perfect in a salt mask.

How do you keep your hands looking healthy during the winter?

DIY Skincare: Firming Eye Oil

Perhaps one of your resolutions for 2013 was to better about moisturizing? Or perhaps this winter weather has your skin dry and irritated? This recipe for Firming Eye Oil was adapted from Julie Gabriel’s book Green Beauty Recipes. The ingredients are pretty easy to pick up at a Whole Foods, Natural Grocery Store, or order online. Whenever you are applying an eye cream or oil be sure to pat the moisturizer into your delicate skin around your eye. RESIST THE URGE TO RUB AND PULL! That damages the sensitive skin around your eyes and works to undo what this beautiful oil is made for. We like applying this oil after we are all washed up and ready for bed. The oil may be a little too much for under makeup in the AM.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp. sweet almond oil
  • 2 tbsp. evening primrose oil
  • 1 tsp. rosehip oil
  • 20 drops black currant oil (you can find this in the supplement section in capsules. Just break open the capsules and add to your mixture.)
  • 1 ml vitamin E
  • 1 2 or 3 oz very clean glass bottle with dropper applicator (we love the blue bottles that Whole Foods carries sometimes!)
  • 1 small funnel

Directions:

  • Make sure the bottle is very clean to prevent anything weird from growing in your oil.
  • Pour all the ingredients into your glass bottle (here is where the funnel might come in handy). Put the lid on it and shake it to mix thoroughly.
  • We recommend shaking it before each use.
  • To apply simply shake, then use the dropper to get some oil. Drop a few drops on your finger and pat onto clean skin. Remember pat the moisturizer in, don’t rub!

This firming eye oil will keep for about a year if stored in a cool, clean place. What do you usually do to take care of your delicate eye area?

DIY Eye Mask

Has all this holiday shopping and prep work got you losing sleep? If your eyes are weary, puffy, or dried out try this great natural DIY eye mask to rehydrate, tighten, and diminish puffiness around your eyes.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tsp. cucumber or raw potato, peeled, seeded, and finely grated
  • 1 tsp. powdered milk

Directions:

  1. Combine ingredients using a spoon and glass bowl, or a mortar and pestle until a smooth thick paste forms.
  2. Let chill for 30 minutes, then add a few drops of water if the mixture needs to be thinned out.
  3. Apply the mixture to your entire eye area and leave on for 10 minutes. Take these 10 minutes to lie down, breathe deeply, and meditate.
  4. Rinse with cool water to remove.

You can use this eye mask 1-2 times per week, but you shouldn’t store it. Make it as you need it. What is your favorite eye treatment?

How To Clean Your Makeup Brushes

Image from beautyatskindeep.com

Maybe some new quality makeup brushes are topping your Christmas list, or maybe you already made the investment in some great tools. Either way brush care and cleaning is essential for keeping both your tools and your skin looking good. Brushes and applicators accumulate dirt, oil, and bacteria with use, and eventually that stuff starts to take a toll on your skin—clogged pores, irritation, and breakouts!

Fear not! We have a simple and safe way for you to keep your brushes clean and free of bacteria. You’ll just need to assemble a few simple ingredients:

  • Baby Shampoo – We like California Baby or Aveeno Organic Baby Shampoo. Castile soap would also work here.
  • Water
  • Olive Oil or Almond Oil
  • Clean sponge or towel

There are 4 basic steps:

  1. Wet the bristles under the faucet with luke-warm water (the bristles should be pointing downwards to prevent water from getting in the metal band or down the handle.
  2. Squirt some shampoo or castile soap onto your clean fingers and apply it to the bristles of the brush creating a nice lather. You could also use the sponge or towel here if you prefer (which helps to show that the brush is actually clean when it stops giving off color). Rinse the bristles and repeat until the water runs clear.
  3. Squeeze out the excess water and lay your brushes on a towel to dry.
  4. Let your brushes dry COMPLETELY before using. Never stand the brushes with the bristles up to dry. This lets water get into the handle and can cause bristles to fall out (oh no!).

You may be wondering what the oil is for. If you have very dirty brushes with caked on makeup, like a liner brush, then you want to use the oil before the soap to loosen dried makeup. How often should you clean your brushes?

  • Foundation , Finish Powder & Blush Brushes – Once per week
  • Eyeshadow & Concealer Brushes – 2 to 3 times per week
  • Eyeliner Brushes – Ideally after each use, especially if you use a sealant or waterproof liner.

We know it’s a pain, but keeping your brushes clean is so important for maintaining healthy skin. At least try to give all your brushes a clean one day a week. Do you practice good brush hygiene? How often do you clean your brushes?

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