Feb 24, 2012

make your own

I just purchased this book, and although I've not yet made any from the library copy I borrowed the recipes look very promising. Lovely serums, exfoliants, moisturisers, skin brighteners and microdermabrasion recipes. It's possibly the best book I've seen so far on this topic.

Jan 2, 2012

aromatic shower

In place of those fancy aromatic shower heads, I sprinkle half to a dozen drops of pure essential oil on the shower floor and walls. The hot water and steam disperses the scent - pure bliss. I can change my oil each day if I fancy, or stick with my current favourite, Dolphin Clinic's Breath of Fresh Air blend.

Sep 30, 2011

Interview with Evelyn Lauder

I rather enjoyed this interview with Evelyn Lauder in the October issue of Harpers Bazaar. I love that she dyes her own hair at home (using four different colours of Clairol!). It's interesting hearing health and beauty advice from someone older than you. Far more helpful than seeing brands using teens to promote their wrinkle creams.

Sep 9, 2011


Little old Neroli. I imagine people are more familiar with essential oils like lavendar, but neroli really is a little gem to be explored.

I read recently (possibly in UK Elle magazine) of a makeup artist who uses neroli oil for bringing a glow to makeup. If you, like I do, decant a little foundation onto the back of your hand then simply shake a drop in and mix it up. I wouldn't use any more than that, and with my foundation (Chanel Aqualumiere) it certainly couldn't handle more, but it is rather lovely. And neroli has a divine fragrance. It's from the citrus family (orange blossom to be precise) but to me it smells fresh, a little like soap and clean washing.

From this website "The name is said to have originated from the Italian princess, Anne-Marie de la Tremoille (Countess of Nerola) who used the oil as a perfume and to scent her bathwater and gloves. It is still an ingredient for making traditional smelling eau-de-cologne"


"On the skin, neroli oil can help to regenerate skin cells and is a rejuvenating oil useful to prevent ugly scar tissue, promote a smoother skin, fighting stretch marks and broken capillaries."

I think beyond adding neroli oil to my foundation I will also be adding it to my facial oil mix, the latter which I use as I would a serum. You could also mix a drop into your night moisturiser.

Apr 24, 2011

When 'no-shampoo' isn't quite enough

Long time writing, I know...

Right now my hair is oiled up, and so is my face for that matter. Luckily my husband is away. Some things must be indulged in solo.

This week I have been seriously thinking about buying shampoo for the first time in two years (two years this May since going shampoo-free, excluding hairdresser visits). Quelle horreur! Now I think I may just need to introduce regular hair treatments into my no-shampoo regime. Hence the oiled hair. The face oil treatment is one I've just made, consisting of beeswax, shea butter, jojoba oil and olive oil. Based on my experience with shea butter, I think if this was used regularly my face would turn on me, but as an occasional facial treatment I'm positive it will be beneficial. I remember reading a quote from a dermatologist, saying that every now and then olive oil in place of your nightly moisturiser is beneficial. It gives your skin a nice break from the complexities of facial moisturiser, and is very rich.

One topic I've been meaning to blog about is the acupuncture facelift. It's in a book of mine, and it goes through the steps for tightening and lifting various parts of the face. It sounds so good, and apparently there are acupuncture facelift specialists who have been doing this for years. If you were to do it at home, it's a matter of being disciplined and going through the steps each day. I find the older I get, the less-disciplined I get in some areas, which is unfortunate as I'd really like to persevere with this. I'll try to find the time to post about it soon. Ish.

Nov 22, 2010

shea butter goodness

I embarked on this little project last week when I was interested in finding a natural body moisturiser that was more effective than most reasonably priced decent brands, not to mention better cost-wise. The outlay for the shea butter was my biggest spend (bought at Ceres, though I've since found somewhere cheaper to buy it - www.gonative.co.nz - so many good things here).

I made this recipe (a half batch) a few days ago, which I found here:

Homemade Shea Body Butter Recipe

2 cups of shea butter
3/4 cup olive oil
1 ½ teaspoon vitamin E oil
2-3 drops jojoba oil
2-3 drops lavender oil
1 teaspoon cornstarch (for binding)
1/2 ounce Vanilla extract (if desired)

For this shea body butter recipe, start with melting shea butter. You can add it in an appropriate size saucepan and put over low heat. Wait till it melts and immediately remove from heat. Make sure you do not overheat or burn shea butter. To the liquid shea butter, infuse olive oil and allow to settle for about 30 minutes. Before it solidifies completely, add vitamin E oil, jojoba oil, lavender oil, cornstarch and vanilla extract. Using a blender, whip concoction till it turns light and fluffy. Transfer shea body butter into an air tight container and keep in a cool place.

I've actually been using this same concoction as a body moisturiser, a hair pomade, a facial treatment and a hand moisturiser! It's quite nice to put a bit on at night instead of my regular facial moisturiser. As it's mostly shea butter and olive oil it's very rich and nourishing. It could also be a pre-wash hair treatment too.

I'm not sure whether it's the cornstarch I added but it does feel ever so slightly gritty when I scoop a bit out of the jar though this disappears quickly. Whether this recipe even needs the cornstarch in it I'm not sure.

All in all I am quite pleased at my first attempt with shea butter, and with all its uses I've probably been enjoying it most as a hand cream and night facial treatment.

I think I will be trying this recipe next, which appears to be more scientific in its production and which I am guessing will produce a better result.

Jun 23, 2010

Oil-Cleansing Method

Posts are slow on this site but that doesn't mean things aren't happening! I am still religiously shampoo-free, and still loving it. I recall I started in May 09 so it's over a year now and I'm still very happy.

Lately I've been playing around with facial cleansers. It probably started when I ran out, and up until that point I'd been using Trilogy and then Sukin. All lovely ingredients within, but I just wanted something simple yet effective plus a product I wasn't really reliant on to go out and buy. The other day my sister said she is trying the oil cleansing method for cleansing her face.

Intrigued I read about it here on the advice of my dear sister, and then promptly went out and bought the castor oil to add to the extra virgin olive oil I had in the pantry. It's such a simple concept (like the baking soda/ apple cider vinegar wash for hair) yet after my first go at it I am really pleased, and intend on sticking with it. My skin is normal to slightly sensitive, so simple things are best for it. My sister swears it removes all makeup. I don't wear heavy eye makeup so can't attest to its powers there but have read it is effective. Castor oil is the purifying oil, which explains why I wasn't left with an oil slick on my skin. It felt moisturised and not at all oily.

You can read about the method here.

The author of the blog said she now eschews moisturiser, saying the oil cleanse itself is enough for her skin. Wow! And, as always, the added bonus is not having to spend money on expensive products with big claims and mysterious ingredients. Highly recommended.

And she also wrote about her thoughts on going shampoo-free here.