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30 April 2014

DIY Parsley and Peppermint Astringent Recipe

Using an astringent, or toner, is a great way to get a deep down clean after washing.  It removes oil and leaves your skin feeling fresh for hours after you use it.  I don't always use an astringent, but I do use it more in the summer.  When I'm outside gardening or I get sweaty from the heat, I want a deep down clean.  This DIY parsley and peppermint astringent recipe is perfect for summer because it cleans off dirt and oil very well while it cools your skin.

This recipe makes 2 cups, so you'll have plenty to last you for months.  You can use it every day or as needed.  Since this recipe doesn't use a preservative, you should store it in the fridge for a week.

DIY Parsley and Peppermint Astringent Recipe

What You Need

  1. Boil the water in a small saucepan. 
  2. Remove from heat and add parsley and peppermint leaves.  
  3. Let steep for 30 minutes
  4. Strain in to glass jar.
  5. Add peppermint essential oil.
To use, apply to your face and neck with a cotton pad after washing.  Following with a facial moisturizer.  

Shake gently before each use.  

This must be stored in the fridge.   

Photo from cochrane /

29 April 2014

DIY Strawberry Facial Cleanser Recipe

This is a really neat recipe because it is so easy!  We grow strawberries on the farm, so I have a surplus for a few weeks.  It only takes a few berries, so it's easy to make this up when you buy a pack of berries no matter what time of the year it is.

Strawberries are a great natural astringent, so it will help get your face clean and dissolve oil.  They are also a natural bleach, so it could help with uneven skin tone and dark spots.

This strawberry facial cleanser recipe is best for days that you wear light or no makeup.  It's not effective at removing a lot of makeup or excess oil.

You can also use leftover berries to make a natural toothpaste!  This strawberry tooth whitener has a few extra ingredients, but you can use this recipe on your teeth as well.

Strawberry Facial Cleanser Recipe

What You Need

  • 4 very ripe strawberries with stems removed and sliced
  • 1 drop peppermint essential oil (optional)
  • Mortar and pestle or bowl and fork
  • Cheesecloth
  1. Using a mortar and pestle or a fork, mash the berries until smooth.  
  2. Press the pulp through cheesecloth and catch the juice.
  3. Add essential oil if desired
  4. Apply the juice to your face and neck using your fingers or a soft cotton cloth.  Massage for 1 minute before rinsing.
I can't wait for strawberry season for fresh desserts and jam, but I will be saving a few berries for this easy strawberry facial cleanser recipe!

28 April 2014

DIY Makeup Removing Oil Recipe

Have you ever tried the oil cleansing method?  I will admit that my skin is just a little too oily to try it.  I gave it a shot, but it wasn't working for me.  My skin needs a little less oil and a little more cleanser.  If you can't or don't want to do the oil cleansing method, then you may be interested in this DIY makeup removing oil recipe.

This oil is heavy, but you follow it with your regular facial cleanser.  This way you get all the benefits of the oil, but it's not too heavy for oily skin.  For best results, follow with a toner after washing if you have oily skin.  This also works really well for dry skin because it nourishes your skin, and the oils leave your skin feeling soft.

This versatile oil isn't just for your face.  You can use it all over your body at night to deeply moisturize your skin.  It is a great way to get your hands and feet soft in just one night.

25 April 2014

DIY Lavender and Rose Facial Cleaser and Mask Recipe

This is one of the most different recipes that I've tried.  It's mean to be a facial cleanser, but it also makes a wonderful mask.  This is a gentle cleanser, so it's great for sensitive skin.  It won't remove heavy makeup, but it's perfect for cleansing your skin if you just use a little bit of powder or go without makeup.  You can also use a makeup remover before using this if you wear more than a hint of makeup.

White clay is a gentle clay that draws out impurities and exfoliates your skin.  Oatmeal soothes your skin while it exfoliates.

If you grow lavender or roses, you can dry your own and use them.  If not, you use click on the link to buy them.  They are affiliate links, so I earn a small commission on sales.  Thanks for supporting my blog.

Lavender and Rose Facial Cleanser Recipe

23 April 2014

Easy DIY Cold Cream Recipe and Makeup Remover

Do you use a cold cream?  I'll admit that I never did until I came across this easy cold cream recipe.  Honestly, I wasn't even sure what a cold cream was.

It's a thick cream made with fats that keeps your skin soft and looking great.  It also makes a wonderful makeup remover for thick makeup, like the kind you would wear on stage.  I also discovered that this recipe makes an excellent foot cream.  It really softens the dead skin and helps smooth rough heels.

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22 April 2014

Summer Makeup Tips

Summer is almost here! After what seems like the longest winter ever, I am ready for the warmer temperatures.

The increased humidity and heat in the summer can melt your makeup, so use some summer makeup tips to help keep your makeup looking great all day. I change a few products for the summer, so now that it's spring, it's a good time to get prepared and buy what you need. I also like to keep my summer makeup in its own bag so I can throw it in my purse for easy touchups during the day. There's nothing worse than being at a summer party and discover that your makeup has melted or moved out of place.

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18 April 2014

Spray Tan Tips

I love spray tans!  I get a nice glow without lying in the sun.  Tanning beds are bad news for your skin, but faux glows are safe for your skin.  The first time I got one, I was so scared that I would have streaks.  I'm happy to say that these spray tan tips preventing streaks, so I had a beautiful color for a few weeks.

You can give yourself a spray tan at home with a kit like this Fake Bake one. Instead of a spray, it has a mit that you wear on your hand for more even application.  You can also visit a salon to get a tan.  My husband does airbrushing, so I get a professional tan at home.  Awesome!

How It Works

Self-tanners contain dihydroxyacetone (DHA), which reacts with dead skin cells to produce a temporary tan. DHA is found in sunless tanning sprays, gels, creams, and lotions you can use at home or get professionally applied at a salon. DHA takes up to 12 hours to react with your skin, so you won't get an instant tan. Some products also contain a bronzer, which darkens your skin immediately, but washes off as soon as you get wet.

Spray Tan Tips

1. Exfoliate

Since DHA reacts with dead skin cells, your tan will fade as these cells naturally fall off. To keep your tan as long as possible and prevent unsightly streaks, use an exfoliator like Tree Hut Shea Sugar Body Scrub just before getting a spray on tan. You can also make your own DIY sugar scrub like this one.  As your tan fades, you may get streaks in creases like elbows and knees. Use exfoliator to gently scrub away dark areas and even out your tan.

2. Skip Lotion

Lotion prevents the tanning solution from reaching the skin, so skip lotion just before tanning. Thick lotions can lead to streaks, so use a body oil if you need more moisture on your skin. This can work to your advantage by apply lotion to your knees, elbows, palms, and ankles to prevent them from getting too dark.

3. Stay Dry

Let your spray on tan dry completely before getting dressed. Stand in front of a fan if possible to speed up drying. Be careful not to sweat or get wet for at least 12 hours after your tan. Even a small water drop can create a big streak, so be careful washing your hands so water does not run down your arms or drip on your legs.

With these spray tan tips, you'll get a streak free tan that will last up to two weeks!

Have you ever gotten a spray tan? 

photo via Gualberto107 /

16 April 2014

Body Odor Remedies

Summer is coming, and that means being more active, which means sweating.

I have no problem getting dirty and sweating while I'm working outside.  What I do have a problem with is getting sweaty and stinky when I have some place to be!  Even if I'm going to the grocery store, I still want to look and feel my best.   These body odor remedies have helped me, and I hope they help you too.

Perfume sprays just mask the odor, and eventually the will wear off.  To get rid of body odor, you need to address the underlying issues.

What Causes Body Odor?

Our bodies sweat to get rid of excess waste and to cool down our bodies.  Sweating is normal and natural.  If you feel that you have excessive sweating, talk to your doctor.  There may be a medical reason that your body sweats too much.

Bacteria love warm, moist areas, so they love your underarms.  Soon, the bacterial will excrete waste, and this is what causes the smell.

Some women might also find that their sweat is stronger smelling while menstruating.  Yeast on the body can cause a beer-like smell because yeast in the body can turn sugar in to an alcohol.

Your diet can also lead to body odor.  Eating a lot of pork and beef can cause a fishy smell.  

Body Odor Remedies

Bathe Regularly

Bathing regularly will get rid of the bacteria that causes odors.  Shower daily, especially if you are sweaty.  If you sweat a lot exercising or working, consider using an antibacterial soap to kill the bacteria.  


Use a deodorant daily, but avoid antiperspirants.  Antiperspirants clog your pores, so sweat can't escape.  Your body needs to get rid of toxins, so you don't want to block the pores.  Instead, use a natural deodorant like this one from Arm & Hammer.  

You can also make your own natural deodorant with this easy recipe.  Here's a recipe for a spray deodorant.  

Cotton Clothes

Natural fibers like cotton let your skin breathe more and lets more air circulate.  Switching to a cotton or silk fabric in the summer can help reduce body odor.  Wearing loose clothing also helps.  


Vinegar is naturally antibacterial and antifungal.  Spritz a little bit under your arms when you need a little freshening up.  Let it sit for a few minutes and wipe dry.  This is a great way to freshen up when you don't have time for a shower.  Don't worry--the vinegar smell goes away quickly!


Eating garlic, onions, and peppers can make your sweat smell worse.  If it does for you, try not to eat these foods.

You don't have to try all of these body odor remedies to find relief.  Just try a few until you find the ones that work best for you.

photo via ambro /

14 April 2014

10 Foods You Don't Have to Buy Organic

If you are like most Americans, you live on a budget.  Your food budget probably doesn't allow you to feed your family all organic foods, so how can you save money and stay healthy?  If you can't eat 100 percent organic foods, then here are some foods that you don't have to buy organic.

Last weekend, I posted 10 foods that you should buy organic.  These foods are usually grown with a lot of pesticides and chemicals, or they absorb a lot of chemicals.  In the comments, many of you mentioned that you aren't completely organic yet.  That's OK!  Neither are we.  We do what we can afford and what we think is best for our families.

10 Foods You Don't Have to Buy Organic

1.  Onions

Pests generally leave onions alone, so there aren't as many pesticides sprayed on them.  When shopping, look for onions that are firm and have a strong onion smell.

2.  Avocados

Avocados have very thick skins that protect them from pesticides.  This doesn't mean that there are no chemicals in the flesh, but it does reduce how much is in the flesh.

3.  Corn

Farmers typically use pesticides on corn, but very little of it reaches the kernels.

4.  Pineapples

Like avocados, the thick skin of pineapples protects the flesh from most pesticides.

5.  Asparagus

Few bugs bother asparagus, so farmers use less pesticides during the season.

6.  Peas

Sweet peas are said to have the least amount of pesticide residue.

7.  Kiwis

The thick skin protects the fruit.  You should still wash them well before eating though.

8.  Cabbage

Cabbage naturally doesn't absorb many pesticides or chemicals.

9.  Watermelon

Again, the thick rind protects the fruit.  You should wash them before cutting because chemicals from the rind can get on the knife and contaminate the fruit.

10.  Broccoli

Broccoli is another plant that doesn't get sprayed often because it doesn't get attacked by pests while growing.

Photo via digitalart / 

12 April 2014

10 Foods You Should Buy Organic

We all want to eat healthier, but organic food is a lot more expensive than their counterparts.  Do you really need to eat all organic foods?  It's probably better to switch to all organic foods, but if you are on a budget--like most families--here are 10 foods that you should buy organic.

If you haven't priced organic foods lately, you might be surprised.  Prices are dropping, and some stores have generic or private label organic foods.  Wal-Mart is carrying some Great Value organic foods, and Aldi has many available.  Personally, I shop at Aldi for their organic, and everything has been wonderful so far!

10 April 2014

Kool Aid Hair Dye Tutorial

Bright colored streaks are so popular right now, but have you looked at how much salons charge?  Yikes!  Around here, expect to pay $50 to $100 or more for a few streaks.  Kool Aid hair dye is a non-toxic alternative, and you can do it at home for less than $1!

Unfortunately, I can't try this on myself because I have very dark hair.  My daughter has light-brown-almost-blonde hair, so I will practice on her this summer.

This works best on light hair, but it will show up on light or medium brown hair.  If you have darker hair, you will need to bleach the hair before you dye it.  I don't have any experience in bleaching hair at home, so I can't recommend a tutorial.

How long Kool Aid hair dye lasts depends on your hair.  The lighter your hair, the longer it should last.  It just depends on how much your hair soaks up while you are dyeing it.  Don't try this if you need it washed out in a few weeks for a special event.

How to Dye Your Hair With Kool Aid

What You Need

  • 3-5 Packets of Kool Aid*
  • Conditioner
  • Glass bowl
  • Aluminum foil
  • Highlighting brush
  • Disposable gloves
  • Petroleum jelly**
  • Old towel
*Choose the colors you want.  You'll need 3 packets for thin streaks or dipping the ends.  Use 5 if your hair is really long or thick and you want the streak to run from root to end.  

**There's some controversy about putting petroleum jelly on your skin.  I really don't know what else would protect your skin from the dye.  You can skip it if you think you can be very careful with the dye.  


  1. Spread petroleum jelly around your hair line to protect your skin.  Obviously, the Kool Aid won't damage your skin, but it will stain it.
  2. Wear disposable gloves before mixing the dye mixture.  
  3. In a glass bowl, mix conditioner and Kool Aid.  You'll need enough conditioner to coat the hair completely.  Use more for long or thick hair.  Heat conditioner for 10-15 seconds in the microwave if the color doesn't dissolve.  
  4. Mix each color separately.  
  5. Use the foil and highlighting wand to place streak in your hair.  Wrap the hair in foil before placing the next streak.
  6. If you are dyeing the ends, use clips to keep the rest of your hair away from the hair that you are dyeing.  
  7. Let the Kool Aid sit on your hair until you reach the desired shade.  Check it at 20 minutes.  Most people will need 30 minutes or more.
  8. Rinse your hair with warm water.  If you did streak with foil, be careful to rinse it without getting it on the rest of your hair.
  9. Do not wash your hair until the next day.  
Remember:  Kool Aid stains everything!  If you dip dye your hair. place the glass  bowl of the Kool Aid hair dye mixture on a towel to protect the counter.  Wear and old shirt while you are dyeing your hair.  

You can also mix the Kool Aid with warm water, but the conditioner really helps contain the mess.  

Have fun!

photo credit: mommyknows { Kim Becker } via photopin cc

07 April 2014

How to Remove Makeup

Makeup, dirt, and oil from the day can clog pores.  When your pores get clogged, bacteria multiplies, and you'll wake up with a zit.

Never, ever, ever sleep in your makeup.  Ever.  Not even when you're exhausted.  It's just not worth it.

Whether you wear full makeup every day or just a hint of powder and some mascara, learn how to remove makeup.

Baby Wipes

A lot of women like to use baby wipes because they are convenient and inexpensive, but they aren't the best thing to use.  The alcohol can dry out your skin, and the fragrance can irritate your skin.  If you really like the convenience of a wipe, use one made just for your face like these from Neutrogena.

 DIY Makeup Remover

A few weeks ago, I featured a wonderful DIY makeup remover recipe.  This uses cotton pads, so it's like making your own wipes.  It's easy to make, and it works great!

Natural Makeup Remover Mask

Once a week or when you have a lot of makeup on, try this easy DIY makeup remover.  Just put a tablespoon honey on a damp washcloth and sprinkle a little baking soda on top.  Gently scrub your face and rinse.  The baking soda exfoliates your skin while it dissolves makeup and oil.  The honey soothes your skin and keeps it hydrated.

Olive Oil

Oil dissolves oil, so use a cotton pad moistened with olive oil to take off the day's dirt and makeup.  This will leave your skin feeling soft, so there's no need to moisturize.  This is called the oil cleansing method for how to remove makeup.


Need to remove stubborn eye makeup?  Wet a cotton ball with milk and use to gently remove mascara, eye liner, and eye shadow.  This will leave your skin very soft!

Face Wash

Some women just use their regular face wash to take off makeup.  If you use a light foundation and no mascara or eye liner, this will work.  For best results, massage the face soap and let it sit for 15 to 30 seconds before rinsing

Now that you know how to remove makeup with these six easy methods, there is no excuse to sleep in your makeup!

Photo via Michal Marcol /

03 April 2014

Is Organic Skin Care Really Better?

Organic is a buzz word for clothing, food, and skin care products right now, but are they really better for your healthy?  Organic skin care products are more expensive than their counterparts, but is the extra cost worth it?  Are you really getting a better product for your money?  Whether you choose an organic product or not, you should read the label carefully to see what you are buying.

01 April 2014

Homemade Wrinkle Cream Recipe

Now that I'm in my 30s, fine lines are starting to creep up on my face.  Fine lines and wrinkles can add years to your face, so it's best to treat them as soon as possible.  In fact, I've been preventing them since I was a teenager.  I use moisturizer with an SPF of 15 every day, even in the winter or when I'm staying inside.  I also keep my face moisturized and use a homemade wrinkle cream recipe as needed.