Tuesday, August 30, 2011

DIY Conditioner

I think I might have figured out my DIY conditioner issue!  Looking at the ingredients of natural/organic skin and hair care products lines will teach you alot!!  They usually are expensive too, hence the reason behind this blog!!

Anyhoo, the ingredients from my recent hair gel post here are also great for making a hair conditioner!  As I have mentioned before, conditioner (deep and regular) are simply emulsifications ( water + emulsifier + oils/butters).  It is the combination of water and oils that make them so awesome and beneficial.  I have seen guar gum and xantum gum before, but just overlooked them, but I shouldn't have.  My main issue was figuring out a simple emulsifier and/or thickner that was natural and not a wax or synthetic, so here we go.....(click on each ingredient to get more info)

Simply put guar gum and xantum gum are natural conditioners and thickners for both skin and hair products and can be found at your local grocer and health food store (used in gluten free recipes).

This recipe is very similiar to the hair gel, but more guar gum and xanthan gum.

  • 2/3 cup Distilled Water (room temp)
  • 1/8 tsp Xanthan gum
  • 1/8 tsp Guar Gum (use alone for vegan recipe)
  • 1 tsp  Carrier Oil ( you can adjust amount depending on hair type, i.e use more oil for dry hair)
  • Pour water into blender
  • Add Oil
  • Start blender
  • Add Guar gum and/or XG slowly
  • Allow time for hydration (15-30minutes). 
    • You can also use a stick blender!
Ways to personalize recipe:
  • Use different carrier oils/butters
  • Replace water with aloe vera juice, hydrosols, infusions or decoction
  • Add extracts
  • Add EO's
  • Add Protein ( egg, avocado, mayo, yogurt)  1x applications only 
As with any recipe that contains water, if you want to leave this product out or last longer than a few days, you will need to add a preservative.  If you do not want to use any preservative, you can refrigerate, which will extend it's shelf life a little. Check out my posts here about options for preserving your products.

Just make enough for a few days or one application depending on need and if you want to make larger amounts, make this recipe into a formula using percentages! See method here.  You will need to shake before each application!

I am very excited by the possiblities, ayurvedic conditioners, etc!!

The puprose of sharing this video is to provide a visual of the process, not suggest the product used!

Monday, August 29, 2011

DIY Natural Hair Gel #3

Here is another simple hair gel recipe that is, quick and easy.  All ingredients can also be found locally!! There are other posts that I have made about natural hair gels, here

I found this recipe below, but you can definitely tweak it to your hearts desires, just experiment.  They can be purchased locally at your grocery store, look in the baking isle.

  • 2/3 cup Distilled Water(room temp)
  • 1/4 tsp Xanthan gum
  • 1/4 tsp Guar Gum (use alone for vegan recipe)
  • 1 tsp  Carrier Oil ( you can adjust amount depending on hair type, i.e use more oil for dry hair)
  • Pour water into blender
  • Add Oil
  • Start blender
  • Add Guar gum and/or XG slowly
  • Allow time for hydration (15-30minutes). 
    • You can also use a stick blender!
Ways to personalize recipe:
  • Use different carrier oils/butters
  • Replace water with aloe vera juice, hydrosols, infusions or decoction
  • Add extracts
  • Add EO's
  • Add Humectants (honey, veggie glycerin,etc)
As with any recipe that contains water, if you want to leave this product out or last longer than a few days, you will need to add a preservative.  If you do not want to use any preservative, you can refrigerate, which will extend it's shelf life a little. Check out my posts here about options for preserving your products.

Just make enough for a few days or one application depending on need and if you want to make larger amounts, make this recipe into a formula using percentages! See method here


Friday, August 26, 2011

DIY Liquid Eyeliner

The trick to staying as natural as possible with DIY recipes is to only make what you need.  Depending on what your making,  this can be a pain in the butt sometimes, but here is a simple and COOL idea I will be trying soon.  If you look at liquid eyeliners they typically have water as the top ingredient meaning they have some type of preservative in it. 

Supplies Needed:
  • Pressed or Loose Eye Shadows (store bought) or Mica or Iron Oxide powders from places like Coastal Scents
  • Eyeliner Brush
  • Visine

Very Cool and simple!

More DIY makeup coming soon!

I will begin learning more using this book The Complete Idiot's Guide to Making Natural Beauty Products


Thursday, August 25, 2011

DIY Deep Conditioner Ingredients

Since I have eliminated "products" from my hair regimen, I am currently on a search to figure out a deep conditioner for after my henna treatments.  I tried a recipe last week and I was not at all enthusiastic about it.  My hair was not dry , but it was a little frizzier than usual, so I'm unsure what I'm going to do; stop henna treatments or do more research?

Last weeks trial recipe:
  • Aloe Vera Gel
  • Raw African Honey
  • EVOO
  • Shea Butter
  • Coconut Oil
This sounded good, but it didn't give me that Boom Boom POW! feeling.

In my brief research most peoples diy deep conditioners contain protein, but it's not recommended to use this after a henna treatment.  Will a simple hot oil treatment suffice??? idk

Anyhoo, Here is a list of popular natural deep conditioner ingredients.  These ingredients can be used in several different variations depending on your preference and what is available to you. 

  • Ripe avocado protein
  • Ripe Banana/ Banana Baby Food
  • Raw Honey
  • Aloe Vera Juice/Gel
  • Mayonnaise protein
  • Coconut Milk protein
  • Coconut Cream protein
  • Egg protein
  • Yogurt protein
  • Carrier Oils/Butter
    • avocado oil
    • coconut oil
    • Shea Oil
    • Shea Butter
    • EVOO
    • Avocado oil
    • Wheat Germ Oil
      • Find great article about Oils, Water and deep conditioners here
These are just some of the ingredients out there that can be used and feel free to share any of your suggestions. 

Another simple way to create your own deep conditioner is to simply add honey and EVOO to your favorite conditioner and call it a day. ( I'm so tempted to buy me the closest to natural conditioner I can find and calling it a day)

Enjoy and Remember to share, I am always open to suggestions!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Un-Petroleum Jelly II

This recipe is much "thinner" and great for hair "grease" formulations and a lighter/high shine lip gloss than my first un-petroleum jelly formula.  This formula is just a collection of different oils used with less beeswax.  I found that I liked this formula better for lip gloss and body application, but that is just my preference. 


Just follow the instruction from the Un-petroleum Jelly post! 

FYI: How much beeswax needed changes depending on the oils/butters you use and your personal preference.  Some oils are heavier/than other!


Phase 1

Jojoba Oil   23.5%
Castor Oil   25.4%
Shea Oil      23.4%
Beeswax     3%
Vitamin E Oil 1%
Coconut Oil 23.4%

Phase 2

Rosemary Extract or Vitamin E Oil  .3%
Mica/Beetroot Powder optional
Flavoring optional

Note:  From experience, When adding mica,  for a transparent/sheer color effect add to lip gloss during cooling phase(still liquid like)  For more intense color, (like high shine lip stick) add after it has cooled (solidified).  I will make a post to show the difference soon!
Try out different oil combos and beeswax amounts to see what works best for you!!


Monday, August 15, 2011

DIY Chafing /Diaper Rash Cream

This is a cool recipe I found in one of my recent Internet searches!  This is good for those that are very active, runners, diaper rash, etc! You will find many renditions of this recipe on runners boards.

  • protects skin from chafing
  • can help heal the skin
  • helpful with blister prevention.
  • Low cost and effective

As mention before in other post, Vaseline is good for chafing and diaper rash, but here is a way to personalize or improve it and make your own cream!

A& D Ointment 40%
Vaseline 40%
Vitamin E Oil 10%
Aloe Vera Gel 10%

Mix equal parts A & D ointment and Vaseline
Add vitamin E oil and Aloe Vera  oil

While in the baby isle I decided to read the labels of the bottles and they were mainly petroleum jelly with A&D present in small amounts.  There were also chemicals listed I know little about or feel like typing out.  I also came across one that was cocoa butter based instead of petroleum jelly, Whoo Hoo....right?  Well as I read further down in the Inactive ingredients( at home, I might add) I found PARABENS, LOL!  Got caught up by the cocoa butter, but it gave me an idea(light bulb), Ha!


Epilator Update

So, I "recently" posted about the epilator here and how I was curious to use it.  Well, I purchased the exact epilator Naptural85 showed in her video on ebay for cheaper,lol! (it works fine)

Anyhoo, I have used it twice, so here is my review:

OUCH!!!,   But dang those results are good!

So, the thing kinda hurts, but I got used to the feeling after the first few swipes and then it become tolerable.  So, it's a little bit of a shocker at first, but then it gets better.

The "shave" last about 2-3 weeks and its great, because I'm lazy.  My armpits have even lightened.  Previously I was getting a dark circle, that I thought was due to the deodorant, but I guess I was wrong.  ( I only use natural deodorant fyi)

So overall, I vote you give it a try and as I mentioned in my previous post, try using the baby gum numb stuff if your afraid of the pain.  I debated adding this, but I'm going to keep it real here, lol.  I'm going to keep it 100( I've been hearing this a lot from guys,lol).  The bikini line is a whole other story, OUCH, I couldn't take it (grimace).

I wasn't sure if you wanted to see my armpits, so no pics for this post, lol!

Enjoy, if you dare!

Friday, August 12, 2011

More Clay Washing!

I know I have posts about Clay Washing and Hair Detox, but here is an updated recipe of mine and ways to personalize your own recipes!

·         2 Tbsp  Bentonite Clay
·         2 Tbsp  Rhassoul Clay ( Great Conditioner!)
·         10 drops  Lavender, Peppermint  and Lemongrass EO (optional) 
·         1 tbsp Aloe Vera Gel 
·         1 tsp ACV 
·         1 tsp Honey
·         Water -mix until you get desired consistency

Mix all the ingredients in a glass bowl (metal will mess with the natural minerals in clay)
  • Apply to damp hair and massage into scalp.
  • Cover w/ shower cap and let sit on your hair for 15-20 minutes ( do not let it dry)
  • Rinse

Ways to personalize this recipe:

  • Use Aloe Vera Juice/Hydrosols/Coconut Milk/ Herbal Infusion(leaves, flowers)/Decoction(roots, bark) in place or in combination with water
  • Add Herbal Extracts
  • Add 1-2 tsp of light oil ( sesame, avocado, jojoba)
  • Add veggie glycerin in place of honey
Use any left overs for a facial!!

I prefer my mix to be thicker, but some like a more watery consistency so play around with the amounts of clay used until you find your desired mix!


Thursday, August 11, 2011

Get Started Mixing!!

I wrote this post as guest post on another blog, but I thought I should put it here for my followers!

There are three simple ways to learn about DIY natural hair care:

1.      Books
          a.       To get started making your own hair products purchase books about natural skin and hair care. (the expensive ones I got through inter-library loan)  My favorite books included a glossary about each ingredient and their benefits and shelf life.  Some books main focus is just recipes, while others explain the structure of hair, hair needs, etc.  There is no one book unfortunately, trust me I searched, but a few will help.
        From there you will learn the basic procedures of certain formulations and how hair products were made.  One of the biggest formulas that are used in hair care is emulsions (water + emulsifying wax + oils).

2.      Online Resources ( blog, vlogs, forums, ingredients databases)
         a.       As you already know the natural hair care blogs, vlogs and forums are also a great resource.  A lot of what I learned is a combination of Google searches (blogs,vlogs,forums), books and natural ingredient wholesalers. 

 3.      Natural Wholesale Companies
         a.      Wholesalers are very helpful when you have questions about formulations, ingredients and explaining the purpose of each ingredient sold.  Many wholesale websites include their own formulary (recipes) and break down each ingredient explaining their purpose, shelf life, and formula compatibility ( oil-soluble vs water soluble, etc).

Start reading labels of your favorite products to see what is in them (not your ingredients to avoid list, lol!) and before you know it, you will be able to break down the products key ingredients and understand the formulation. 

Determining Freshness

The best way to determine the freshness of ingredients is color, smell and texture.  If the herbs are dry and crumbly, they may be too old.   

The freshest herbs are obviously those pulled straight from the dirt, but these are not great for formulating because they still contain water, which can cause mold in your formulations.  Because of this, dried herbs are best.  These herbs should be stored in dark cool places, preferably in amber jars w/ tight tops and labels (expiration date).  This will help the herbs maintain their potency.  If they are exposed to too much light and air, they will lose their medicinal properties and flavor.   

Herbs typically last for 1-3 years depending on what type (leaves, flowers seeds, bark or roots) and what form (Ground vs. Whole) you are using.  Each serves different purposes and are easier to use in different formulations. 

As for oils, they need to be stored in cool dark areas as well.  These too need to be stored in UV protective bottles.  Every oil has a different shelf life and can withstand different temperatures before they become rancid, so check their shelf life and label.  For example, almond oil has a shorter shelf life than most oils and will last longer if refrigerated and butters must be heated at low temperatures, otherwise they will become grainy. 

Recommended Books:

Beauty by Nature by Brigitte Mars
The Holistic Beauty Book: Over 100 Natural Recipes for Gorgeous Healthy Skin by Star Khechara
Natural Beauty Basics: Create Your Own Cosmetics and Body Care Products by Dorie Byers 
The Complete Idiot's Guide to Making Natural Beauty Products by Sally W. Trew and Zonella B. Gould

(These three are kind of technical (get from library), but give you general understanding, I really skimmed these)
Beginning Cosmetic Chemistry
Preservative Free and Self Preserving Cosmetics and Drugs Principles and Practices
Preservatives for Cosmetics

Favorite Wholesalers/Stores:

Local: Whole Foods, Indian Grocery, Health Food Stores, Farmers Markets
The Herbarie (Ingredients, Formulary, Preservatives, Antioxidant)
FNWL (Recipes Database, Herbs, Oils)
Essentials Wholesale (organic herbs, oils, butters)
Coastal Scents (mica, fair trade oil & butters)
Mountain Rose Herbs (organic; oils, clays, butters, herbs, tea, jars/containers, How-to’s, etc)
Brambleberry (DIY soap resource, oils, butters)
Texas Naturals Supply (butters, oils, formulation ingredients. Clays, etc)
Sunburst Bottles (wholesale bottle distributor)
New Direction: Aromatics

See my Formulators Supplies Needed post to get you started!

These are a few places that I have bought from and/or heard good things about and will order from in the future!


Wednesday, August 3, 2011

DIY Body Lotion

I just found this recipe and it sounds promising.  I am so going to  try this recipe soon! 

I wonder how long it will last though, with the current heat in Chicago, it will probably fair better in the refrigerator, but I wonder how hard it would become....won't know until I try!

Body Lotion
This is a great recipe that does not spoil easily without the aid of refrigeration. It makes about 2 cups of lotion.

1 cup of aloe vera gel
1 teaspoon of lanolin 1 teaspoon of pure vitamin E oil
1/3 cup of coconut oil
1/2 ounce of beeswax
3/4 cup of almond oil
Up to 1 and 1/2 teapoons of essential oil of your choice or more to prolong scent

Place aloe vera gel, lanolin and vitamin E oil in a blender or food processor. Place coconut oil and beeswax in a 2 cup Pyrex measuring cup, microwave on high for 30 second and stir. Repeat in ten second blocks until fully melted.

Stir in almond oil, reheating if necessary. Run blender at low to medium speed, then pour in melted oils in a thin stream. As the oils is blended in the cream will turn white and the blender's motor will begin to grind. As soon as you have a mayonaise-like consistency, stop motor, add essential oils and pulse blend. do not overblend Transfer cream to glass jars while still warm because it thickens quickly.
This recipe was found in the Winter 97 issue of Handcraft Illustrated Magazine. The article was written by Amy Jenner

What do you think?


DIY Manicure/Pedicure

It's summer and if there is any season that demands maintained mani/pedi's it is summer.  I love nail polish, but hate how long it DOESN'T last.  If you know my blog, you probably have figured out, I'm lazy and don't like DAILY maintenance of anything other than bathing rituals and facial care.  Anything else needs to last 3 days to a week at least lol.  Because of this, I usually have a chipped manicure throughout the week, smh!

Anyhoo, these are a the Tips and Tricks I have learned recently.

  • Nothing beats a good base and tops coat
  • Don't buy the cheap stuff!!
  • Alcohol will make your manicure last longer!!!
My Fav's
  • Polish:  Essie hands down! ( last up to 3 days) and OPI
  • Base Coat: Nail Tek- Foundation II Base Coat- Ridge-Filling Nail Strengthener
  • Top Coat: Seche Vite

This combination works great for me!

Mani/Pedi Instructions:

  1. Soak nails either in a dish or as I do, during your bathing rituals
  2. Apply cuticle oil or jojoba oil, Olive oil, etc and let sit for a minute
  3. Clean cuticles with cuticle pusher or orange stick
  4. Wash hands
  5. File nails in one direction and shape.  Do not run file back in forth across nails tip.  This will cause damage.
  6. Rinse hands
  7. Apply alcohol to nail bed.  This will dehydrate the nail and remove and excess oils that cause nail polish to chip.
  8. Apply base coat.  Allow base coat to dry.
  9. Apply 2 coats of polish or as desired.  Let polish dry for 20 minutes
  10. Apply 1 layer of your top coat and drag brush across tip of nail to seal... Let dry
  11. Apply 1 layer of your top coat daily

Side note:  If you like crackle polish, when your manicure begins to chip, apply a fresh layer of clear polish, then apply a layer of crackle polish.  This help disguise chips and helps you last the rest of the week!!


Monday, August 1, 2011

Updated Skin & Hair Regimen

Here is my updated Skin & Hair Regimen. 

The reason behind the changes were the hot & humid weather here in Chicago and getting tired of too much product in my house and simplifying my regimen.

Skin Care Regimen:
  • Wash Face 2x daily
  • Use Toner after every wash
  • Exfoliate 3x/week ( replaces 1 daily washing session)
  • Facial detox 1x/week
  • Use gelatin mix whenever I remember
  • OCM to remove makeup only
  • Moisturize body w/ Skin Oil
  • Moisturize Face w/Aloe Vera Gel
  • Use MOM's as primer & oil mattifier occasionally when wearing makeup
Skin Products:
Witch Hazel
OCM ( only use at night to remove makeup)
Cleansing GrainsII, I (exfoliation) 
Bentonite Clay
Aloe Vera Gel ( facial moisturizer)
Herbal Spritz or Rosewater w/glycerin (sets makeup, toner, and moisturizer)
Skin Oil

Hair Regimen:
  • Wash 1-2x/month
  • Lightly french twist 1-2x/week
    •  to stretch natural curl pattern
  • Rinse hair 1x/week w/ water 
    •  remove sweat from working out
  • Twist outs whenever I feel up to it or special occasions
  • Protective styling every 2 weeks
    • wigs, crochet or mini twists ( I get bored easily)
  • Moisturize and seal hair daily with Water and Hair Oil
  • Henna occasionally
Hair "Products'
Bentonite Clay Wash 2x/month
Flaxseed gel (when hold is needed)
Water (moisturizer & refresher)
Hair Oil ( sealer & moisturizer)
Hair Pomade ( styler)
Jamilia BAQ Henna

I have really simplified my hair regimen, not my skin regimen so much.