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Filtering by Tag: #diybeauty

Get Your Clay On

Alexis Krauss

Bustle's DIY beauty maven Kristin Collins Jackson is back, and this time she's really excited to tell you about clay. We've all heard of clay face masks, but they are often pricey and full of filler ingredients. Lucky for us Kristin has gotten her hands dirty experimenting with a variety of DIY clay concoctions and we're thrilled to report that clay can be an easy, effective, affordable and fun new addition to your skincare routine. Enjoy! Xoxo Alexis

Clay is found nearly everywhere on earth, the United States naturally produces several types including some particularly beneficial for mild skin problems like kaolin, bentonite, and Fuller's earth clay which makes it relatively inexpensive and unless you plan on personally digging up clay to make your own clay mask, it's easy to find. Because of this, I couldn't continue to pay upwards of $60 on a clay mask — instead I spent the last years playing in clay to become, if not a clay genius, then a person who could whip up a clay mask in 5 minutes for merely a few dollars.

Since skincare, particularly natural, can be pricy, there is no shame in researching ingredients in the beauty aisle, but you can save yourself money and your phone's data by trading in the public research for a fun DIY clay mask at home. I purchase a few different clays in bulk to make masks depending on my skin's needs and trust me, a bag of clay goes a long way.  You don't need a lab, you don't need a doctorate, in fact, you don't even need an apron — a little inspiration will have you ready to book a play-date with clay.   

French Green Clay

I am a huge fan of green clay, particularly when the temperature is rising and my skin starts acting like it needs to produce enough oil for me to repurpose for the apocalypse; green clay is very cleansing and while it's drying properties are great for oily skin types, it still doesn't keep your skin from naturally producing oil on its own, it merely controls the oil production. This clay mask is for just that: with grapefruit essential oil to further promote astringent properties and lavender to calm and balance the stimulating effects of the clay and grapefruit essential oil.

Bentonite Clay

Bentonite clay has a huge fan base because it works well with oily, combination, and dry skin. Just like its clay cousins, bentonite absorbs impurities and gently exfoliates the skin. During your menstrual cycle, bentonite is a great way to release toxins and I especially recommend it at the onset of menstrual cycle; this is a great time for women to get rid of toxins. Pair it with hormone balancing essential oils like geranium to control those dreaded period breakouts.  

White Kaolin Clay

This clay is great for sensitive skin and not just the ones prone to breakouts or dryness. As the skin ages it becomes thinner and things are absorbed faster through the blood stream, white kaolin clay is gentle enough for mature skin while removing dead skin cells, calming and soothing lines, wrinkles, and overall stressed out skin. I love this mask in the dead of winter when my skin doesn't know if it's dry or breaking out or both: I infuse my clay with hibiscus tea which speeds up cell regeneration and improves the elasticity of skin and to support of the kaolin clay.  

Black Clay

I'll start by saying there are a different forms of black clay; this one by Fig + Yarrow is infused with activated charcoal and kaolin black clay, the combination makes it an exceptionally detoxifying mask that controls oil and breakouts while giving your skin a deep clean. This mask is ideal for oily skin, stressed out skin. To balance the detoxing effects of the clay, I infused it with chamomile tea to keep my skin from getting too excited.


For The Love Of Lemongrass

Alexis Krauss

It's DIY Friday and guest blogger Kristin Collins Jackson is back, this time to tell us all about the many benefits of lemongrass essential oil. Kristin shares her favorite DIY recipes incorporating lemongrass essential oil just in time for you to try them this weekend. Enjoy! Xoxo Alexis

Lemongrass essential oil is one of the many essentials in my beauty routine. While many folks may be used to seeing this ingredient in a delicious stir-fry, the healthy benefits of this tropical grass can be applied on your bod to solve your beauty woes. I'm a huge fan of using fresh lemons on my face after cleansing to get rid of pesky scars that blemishes leave behind, but squeezing a fresh lemon by hand everyday gets old real fast. Fortunately, lemongrass essential oil is just as versatile and when mixed with the right ingredients it handles dark spots like a boss!

Lemongrass is native to tropical climates like Africa, Sri Lanka and India. The essential oil is an astringent with natural brightening qualities, so you can say goodbye to lightening dark spots with harmful chemicals or hand-squeezing lemons. According to sources at Livestrong, the anti-microbial and anti-bacterial properties make it excellent at warding off infections. Lemongrass is cleansing because of its antiseptic qualities — which is exactly what you want when incorporating a new ingredient into your cleansing routine.

A little bit of lemongrass goes a long way, because of those potent antiseptic and astringent properties, it can be an irritant on your skin, so be sure to mix your lemongrass with your favorite carrier oil and use in small doses.

Here are a handful of ways you can use lemongrass to brighten your day...and your skin.

1. Deodorant

It took me a while to nail down my essential oils to make a deodorant that would control sweat and odor, adding lemongrass to my natural deodorant has become, well, as essential as the oil itself.

2. Toner

Lemongrass acts as a natural preservative and lightener in my go-to homemade toner. This toner can be used after cleansing, before you moisturize, by using rose water, aloe vera, and a few drops of lemongrass essential oil. As with any new recipe, do a test patch on the inside of your arm to make sure your skin reacts well to lemongrass.

3. Brightening Body Lotion

I'm all about brightening my skin throughout my skin regimen, as long as it doesn't require any harmful chemicals. I use a combination of mango, shea, and kokum butter with my favorite carrier oils, then I add frankincense and lemongrass essential oil to keep my lotion healing my body throughout the day.


DIY FRIDAY: Flower Power

Alexis Krauss

What better way to celebrate the arrival of Spring than with flowers! Did you know that you can easily incorporate dried flowers into your beauty routine? Guest contributor Kristin Collins Jackson of Bustle teaches us how with these powerful and oh so pretty DIY recipes. Enjoy and Happy Spring! Xoxo Alexis

Up until recently, I had a love/hate relationship with flowers. Flowers served to me as a reminder of pollen, which only leads to itchy skin, puffy eyes, and thousands of sneezes. Now that I've become completely obsessed with using dried flowers in beauty products, those tears from allergies have turned into tears of joy. Of course, before you join me in the throes of DIY flowering, you must makes sure you never use a flower in your beauty products that generally causes an allergic reaction. Once you've narrowed down your flowers of choice, you can get in on all those potent skin benefits.

You may be familiar with the benefits of rose essential oil, calendula oil, or even dried herbs such as basil and skullcap leaves. Those same soothing properties of the oils of flowers can be found in dried flowers as well — or example, the anti-aging properties of roses are also found in the petals. There have been numerous studies on the positive impact that flowers have on our minds and healing our bodies and when you apply those benefits topically, the results will have you feeling AND looking naturally beautiful. Be sure to shop for organic flowers because that label will mean your product meets USDA organic standards ensuring the flowers are grown in healthy soils and are free from toxic pesticides, fertilizers, GMOs, antibiotics, synthetic growth hormones, artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives.

You don't have to be a chemist to come up with an amazing flower-based product that you can use on the regular: Here are just a few ways you can incorporate dried flowers in your natural skin routine.

1. Rose Hair Zinger

If you're looking to spoil your scalp and tresses, this flowery hair zinger will do just that. For this recipe, I boiled filtered water and added 1/4 cup of hibiscus, 1/4 cup of skullcap leaves, and 1/3 cup of roses. Strain your tea to remove only the liquid and let cool in a sealable container. Next, add 1/3 cup of apple cider vinegar and your essential oils of choice. I like to use clary sage, rosemary, sage, eucalyptus, or lavender essential oils to give my hair extra nutrients and get rid of that vinegary smell. Use on wet hair, massaging into the scalp, and leave on for about 10 minutes before rinsing.

2. Skullcap Rose Coffee Exfoliate

Don't waste your leftover flowers from the hair zinger, because adding these petals to a coffee scrub will give you a perfect AM mask to get rid of puffy eyes and fine lines that creep up on you while you sleep. Use a handful of flowers, 1/3 cup of freshly ground coffee, and 1 tablespoon of raw honey and mix vigorously. Apply on damp, makeup free skin and gently massage into the face and neck.

3. Calendula Body Scrub

This calendula body scrub is the ultimate healing scrub to make you forget about those harsh winter months. Since dried flowers are exfoliating on their own, I used dried calendula flowers, calendula oil, coconut oil, coconut milk, a dash of citric acid and salt. Mix vigorously by hand and add your favorite essential oils. For this healing scrub, I used geranium, frankincense, and ylang ylang essential oils.

4. Rosy Blush

I've written about making your own blush before and truthfully, there isn't one recipe that's going to be perfect for everyone, but there is one ingredient that we all can enjoy regardless of our skin type. Enter dried roses. For my own blush cocktail, I used cocoa powder, acai berry and dried roses to give my cheeks a slightly rosy look sans chemicals.

5. Flower-Herbal Facial Steam

The first time I tried a facial steam, I wanted to spend my entire life steaming because that's how hydrated my skin looked and felt. To make a facial steam, you can use any flower of your choice —I used skullcap leaves, bay leaves, and chamomile flowers. Boil water, add your favorite flowers, and let your steam cool slightly. Next, find a comfy spot in your house and place a towel over your head, creating a tent for your face to capture the steam. Enjoy your steam for about 10 minutes and follow up with your favorite natural cleanser. This is a great way to open up your pores and allow the nutrients of the flowers to penetrate deeply into the skin.


#Truthbeauty Challenge: Skin Cleanse

Alexis Krauss

In honor of Skin Cleanse, Adina Grigore's enlightening new book, we're challenging you to go makeup free for one day. Before you grab your concealer, foundation, blush or powder, think about letting your skin just BE. Give it a break from all those products and instead, share your beautiful, bare face with the world.

 For many women (including me) the idea of going completely product free can be pretty scary. Instead of thinking about this challenge as a parade of imperfections, think about it as a time to really get to know your skin. Does your skin need all those synthetic things you love to slather on it everyday? Definitely not! Use your skin cleanse as a time to experiment with nourishing food-grade ingredients. Try a honey mask or a sugar and coconut oil scrub. Moisturize with some organic olive oil or tone with some apple cider vinegar. Keep it simple! And remember, what you put in your body is as important as what you put on it. So for this challenge try eating clean. That means whole foods and vegetables, polished off with lots of water.

My Skin Cleanse selfie! Join me and take the #skincleansechallenge.

My Skin Cleanse selfie! Join me and take the #skincleansechallenge.

I hope you'll take this #truthbeauty challenge with me and share your clean, fresh face with the world. Together we can inspire others to be bold and celebrate their clear, calm, happy skin. Post a pic of your unfettered face and use the hashtag #skincleansechallenge. You might just win a copy of Skin Cleanse! It really is an eye-opening book. Check out this review Beauty Lies Truth reader Lauren emailed us yesterday...

Hey Alexis!!!

I am only a few chapters in, but let me just say how amazing it is. I feel as if Adina is sitting in front of me saying all of this to me!  I get very giddy over makeup and beauty products of all kind, so this is like I'm having a convo with my friends about this stuff!!  This time around things are different; I'm actually learning about MY skin!  

I LOVE putting skin shaming to a rest for good!  I'm equally as guilty in this department because I'm not 100% confident in my skin due to have some red blotches, and uneven skin tones. Realizing that it's not just about what you put on your skin, but what you put in your body. It's also not that I wasn't educated in this department, but reading about it and having it sink in is really changing my thoughts about food. We all love pizza, and a good BBQ, but in between we have  to make it important to feed our bodies the right kinds of food.

Months ago when you guys started Beauty Lies Truth, I was appalled at how many of my daily products were filled with chemicals and preservatives. It scared me more than anything seeing some ingredients were linked to cancer. Two of my close family members have both died from cancer, and I do not want to follow down that path. I knew I needed new products right then and there. My transition started with S.W. Basics and I've been in love since. 

Even though I haven't finished the book I did skip ahead and peek at the recipes.  They look amazing, and I cannot wait to try them all!  DIY anything is fun for me!  I'm big into baking so making things to put on my face/body sounds like a great day to me. I hope to finish the book within a weeks time.


DIY Friday: Holiday Nails by Ria Nailz

Alexis Krauss

It's the holiday season and we're all in need of a festive manicure. Thankfully our girl Ria Nailz is back to share some simple and sexy holiday nail art. This time she's using Smith and Cult polish. The colors are gorgeous and their 5 free formula is formulated without Dibutyl Phthalate, Toluene, Formaldehyde, Formaldehyde Resin and Camphor. Enjoy! Xoxo Alexis

This holiday nail art is easier to achieve than it looks!

This holiday nail art is easier to achieve than it looks!

What you'll need:

Step 1: Apply base coat, followed by Kundalini Hustle. Allow polish to dry.

Step 2: Use Lovers Creep to create a Tic-Tac-Toe grid. Allow polish to dry.

Step 3: Outline grid using the black nail art striper.

Step 5: Use metallic striper to put the "ribbon" on your beautiful nail package.

Step 6: Apply top coat and allow nails to dry completely.

Step 7: Get your holiday party ON!!

DIY Deodorant

Alexis Krauss

Kristin Collins Jackson is back! This time to talk deodorant. Pretty much all of us depend on it, but it can be tricky to find an effective deodorant that is also safe and heavy-metal free. Lucky for us Kristin has a great DIY recipe that you can try at home. Enjoy! Xoxo Alexis

I remember the first time I wore deodorant, my sister had told me that the kids in my tennis camp were starting to talk: I had become smelly on the courts and there was no way she was going to be directly associated with a foul-odor. Since this was coming from someone who had convinced me to sit in our parents dryer while she turned it on, I obviously needed to check with my mother first. It turns out that unlike the dryer, deodorant was completely safe to use and I would not be injured by it. My mother happily gave me my first stick of deodorant and while I upgraded to prescription strength or different antiperspirants, one thing stayed the same: I wore deodorant everyday for over 20 years and it wasn't safe at all, in fact, it was putting me at risk for things like Alzheimer's and breast cancer. 

Ironically enough, the thing that my teachers in my Catholic school were all in firm agreement over was that deodorant was perfectly safe and we should ALL be wearing it (there were still a few souls holding out in high school) and marijuana would in fact kill us. If Sister Helen was still alive today we would definitely need to have a conversation about where she was getting her facts from. 

Still, deodorant was one of the last things I parted with as I transitioned into an all-natural routine. I'm not the smelliest of people, but I'm definitely one of the top 5 sweatiest women I know. I tried natural deodorant and it just never worked for me. Even with harsh chemical ingredients in my deodorant I've never been able to wear white shirts more than once. It's actually a good thing that I prefer a slightly goth style since I sweat through EVERY shirt I wear in the summer. Obviously, I was scared to give up my Degree Men's Clinical Strength deodorant. I made excuses to myself and hid my deodorant in my top drawer that holds all my other secrets. You know, the drawer with pregnancy tests, handcuffs, and yeast infection cream. 

Watching one of my oldest friends lose her battle with bone cancer, and trust me, she put up quite the fight, didn't change my deodorant habits. In fact, it made me justify many of my unhealthy habits. Cancer doesn't have to run in your family, you can be completely healthy, completely all natural, and still find yourself sitting in a doctor's office listening to them give you options on treatment that are in what seems like a foreign language. It wasn't until I found out that breast cancer was IN my family that my bitterness turned into something positive. 

I knew that breast cancer could affect me simply because I am a woman and I have breasts, but I thought the chances were pretty low considering no one in my family had ever been diagnosed. What I didn't consider is the amount of shitty deodorants that I was putting under my arms for two decades could increase my chances. The closeness of the situation made me shape up. I never found a natural face cleanser that worked for me, but did that mean I kept using Noxzema? No, of course not. I make my own face cleanser and sure, it took a few rashes, a few cystic acne outbreaks, and clogged pores, but soon enough my skin was clear, even, and glowing. 

What I had to realize about deodorant is that for me, the main thing I was seeking was controlling my sweat glands which had to be overworked judging from the amount of sweating I had been doing for twenty years. After careful research, I have decided that mustard seed is the best thing for my sweaty pits. Next, I needed an oil that controlled odor; baking soda is an amazing base for deodorant, it is highly alkaline, however, throwing our pH level off is another reason why we can become smelly. The good thing is that you can play with your homemade deodorant to balance the pH level by adding more acidic ingredients. Fortunately, lemongrass essential oil controls odor and is low on the pH level in terms of acidity. 

Now that we've chosen some fun essential oils, let's get started! I base my recipe loosely on a few great natural gurus out there and their suggestions for deodorant remedies. Both Crunchy Betty and Wellness Mama are great places to start. 

I use equal parts of shea butter and coconut oil for my base, both of these return to solids at room temperature after they are liquefied. I start by cooking these oils down in a sauce pan on low heat (I avoid the microwave because high heat can burn out all those delicious nutrients). Next, I add my baking soda and arrowroot powder. You should play with the proportions of the baking soda to suit your bod's needs, but since my skin has never become irritated or dry from baking soda I like to use about 4 tablespoons and 2 tablespoons of arrowroot powder. 

After I've mixed my deodorant thoroughly, I transfer it to a sealable mason jar to keep it fresh. More often than not, I'm using an old raw honey container or literally anything I can find with a lid. Now that you've made your own natural deodorant you don't ever again have to wonder about what's IN your deodorant, and that feels (and smells) pretty damn good!