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Filtering by Category: #diybeauty

DIY Soy Wax Candles With Vanessa Bley

Alexis Krauss

My girl Vanessa Bley is pretty badass. Not only does she front two bands (Twin Danger and Beast Patrol), she fights fracking, runs a radio station and... MAKES CANDLES! That's right she does all those things and still has time to make beautiful, affordable, fragrant, sustainable and non-toxic soy wax candles. Vanessa was kind enough to document her most recent candle making session and share her process with us. Check it out below and be sure to grab Twin Danger's new record out June 30th. Xoxo Alexis

Vanessa, the DIY candle making queen.

Vanessa, the DIY candle making queen.

Hi my name is Vanessa and I love candles. Apparently you do too because the candle industry pulls in around $2 billion annually! After recently opting out of another $30 candle purchase, I asked myself, why can’t I just make my own? I love essential oils and creating my own fragrances. Turns out the internet is full of people like me (go figure) and it’s actually super easy and cheap to order bulk wax and wicks online! So, the other night, my friend Lauren (Trash is for Tossers) and I decided to have a date night where we made candles, deodorant, toothpaste and body butter. In this post I will share with you the easy steps to making a candle from soy flakes. There are no rules with fragrance combinations. I have made peppermint-lavender, orange-lemon, palo santo and many more. Have fun!

Items you need:

- Mason jars or any vessel of choice (we used old caper jars and previous candle glasses).

- Soy flakes and wicks (I bought mine online from Northstar Country Candle Co.)

-  Double boiler (I made my own out of a regular pot and a glass bowl).

- Essential oil(s) of your choice.

- Candy or food thermometer.


-      Melt 1 lb. of wax using a double boiler to 185 F.

-      Remove from heat and add essential oil.

-      While wax is cooling, dab one of your wicks into it and then stick it to the bottom of your jar or candle container. Use chopsticks to position the wick to be centered.

-      Cool wax to 125 F and pour into your jars. Re-position wick with chopsticks and close pins (see picture).

-      Place in fridge to speed up cooling process.

-      Boom! Trim your wick, light your candle and enjoy!

burning  candles.JPG


Top 10 #Beautyhacks Under $10

Jessica Assaf

Let's all agree that if the cleanest and most effective beauty products were as cheap as the drugstore brands, we would all totally try them out. The biggest challenge we face is finding good, safe products that are actually affordable to all women. Here are 10 #beautyhacks we love that will save you money and save your skin. 

$8.99, Amazon, Whole Foods, Bed Bath & Beyond
Instead of the petroleum-derivatives in Vaseline, Waxelene contains only organic soybean oil, beeswax, organic rosemary oil, and Vitamin E. That's it. You can use it for everything... It's a nice lip gloss, a rich moisturizer, and gentle enough for babies. 

$6.99, Amazon, Whole Foods
This soap really is 18-in-1 like it says. You can use it to wash your hands, wash your body, wash your clothes, wash your dishes, wash your house, and make everything smell like flowers. Try lavender, trust us. 

$6.45, Amazon or Whole Foods Market
Dilute a few drops of tea tree oil with witch hazel, Shea butter, or olive oil and use it as a super effective spot treatment for acne. You can mix tea tree oil with any organic oil to use as a cuticle softener, makeup remover, and natural antiseptic. Use it to . clean wounds, soothe sores, and promote hair growth. It also treats athletes foot, yeast infections, and many other skin conditions. It heals pretty much everything.

$7-$10, Amazon, Whole Foods Market, Trader Joes
Raw honey is sweeter than you think. Not only can you cook with it and eat it raw, but because of its anti-bacterial properties, it can also be used as a mask to help clear up the skin. And it fights winter colds. 

$7-$10, Alaffia, Amazon, Mountain Rose Herbs
Shea butter is gold for your skin. In fact, it is considered "women's gold" in West Africa, because it is one of the only industries run exclusively by women. This rich moisturizer has been used for hundreds of years to treat dry skin, burns, scars, stretch marks, diaper rashes, and acne, and it also has natural SPF. Get some Shea butter in your life as soon as possible. 

$6-$10, online or at any grocery store
Olive oil has been a beauty secret for hundreds of years, dating back to Cleopatra. The Phoenicians, Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans used it as an anti-aging remedy and to treat wounds. I use it as a full body moisturizer right out of the shower and as the best makeup remover. 

$6-$10, Amazon, Whole Foods, Trader Joes, most grocery stores
Imagine this all-over moisturizer that you could cook with and then later use as an amazing lubricant that tastes good and also happens to be anti-microbial, so it prevents yeast infections. Meet coconut oil. 

$7-10, Alteya Organics  
Let's just say, it's freaky how addicted I am to this rosewater. I use it all day, everyday for a refreshing facial moisturizing mist and as a natural perfume. 

$9-$10, Amazon, Mountain Rose Herbs
Hemp seed is considered to be the most nourishing oil ever. It has many medicinal, nutritional, and cosmetic uses, and it also tastes good. It increases skin elasticity and shine and it is also a great moisturizer. 

$3.50-$5, Amazon, Mountain Rose Herbs, any grocery store
Who needs plastic micro-beads when you can exfoliate with sea salt? You can add sea salt to the bath for relaxation, rub a little on your face to exfoliate and fight acne, or mix some with essential oils for a soothing shower. 

P.S. You can find most of these raw ingredients and products on AmazonMountain Rose Herbs, or in natural grocery stores like Whole Foods. 

DIY Friday Beauty Tip: Less is More

Alexis Krauss

Here at Beauty Lies Truth we're HUGE fans of Adina Grigore, founder of S.W. Basics and now author of Skin Cleanse: The Simple, All-Natural Program for Clear, Calm, Happy Skin. The book isn't out until mid-February but we thought we'd share some DIY beauty inspiration from it to get you ready for the weekend. We dare you to act like Adina and challenge yourself to really think about what each and every one of your beauty products is doing for you. Do you really need them? Is there a way for you to use less and still be happy with your skin? We think so! I know it's a challenge but before you go out and buy more stuff this weekend, stop and think about the good old phrase "less is more." Maybe instead of purchasing a new moisturizer packaged in plastic and full of chemicals, you opt to make your own or even just try some coconut oil. Instead of grabbing another bottle of exfoliator try scrubbing with sugar or remove Saturday night's makeup with olive oil instead of those expensive and wasteful makeup removing clothes. Go back to basics and cleanse with water and a washcloth, instead of that expensive cleanser. Remember you won't know until you try it and you probably don't even realize how many things you're buying just because you think you SHOULD be buying them. The beauty industry exerts some serious pressure on us to SPEND SPEND SPEND, and the last thing they want us to do is get all crafty in our kitchens. Adina says it perfectly in Skin Cleanse:

"If it were up to the personal-care industry, your daily routine would look something like this: wake up, shower with shampoo, conditioner, body wash, shaving cream; brush teeth, floss, use mouthwash; wash face, apply astringent, serum, moisturizer, primer, sunscreen, and bronzer. Then deodorant. Oh, and this is all before you even start thinking about makeup. And perfume. Throughout the day, you would turn to your face-blotting sheets, face spritzer, hand sanitizer, hand soap, and hand cream. At night, maybe you shower again, but this time, you apply a deep conditioner first (because you can never condition enough, right?). You remove your makeup, exfoliate (sometimes with a really expensive piece of equipment), and then apply eighteen different serums or lotions because there is one for your eyes, one for your T-zone, one for your neck, one for your elbows and knees, one for your legs, and one for your feet. On the weekends, this routine is twice as long. 

Here's what those companies would never want you to do: wake up, brush teeth, splash water on face, apply a natural moisturizer (maybe even just some coconut oil or olive oil from your pantry), use deodorant, and apply mascara. Go out. Come home. Quickly cleanse face and take mascara off with more oil from your kitchen, wash hair with shampoo. Go to bed. Condition hair only on weekends, use a face cleanser once a week, and exfoliate once a month. Make a homemade face mask once in a blue moon for fun or for furious skin (a breakout; a sunburn; or dry, chapped skin from freezing weather)."

Change is scary and I'm certainly not asking you to throw away all of your products or stop buying everything. I'm just suggesting you think about WHY you're purchasing certain things and WHY you're not nourishing your face with the same things you use to nourish your body. Check out this video for a bit more inspiration and PLEASE do yourself a favor and read Skin Cleanse when it's out next month. Xoxo Alexis



DIY Friday: Whip Up Your Own Shea Butter

Alexis Krauss

The fabulous Scarlett Newman is back, this time to share her family recipe for homemade Shea Body Butter. Shea Body Butter is a safe and effective moisturizer for women, men and children. It is especially nourishing during the cold winter months and you'll love the affordable and sustainable way Scarlett and her mommy craft and package their beautiful DIY creation. Enjoy! Xoxo Alexis

Shea Butter is something that’s been used in my family for a really long time. My mom and I have been using it not only as a moisturizer, but also as a hair product and as an alternative to prescriptive creams to cure dermatitis and eczema. It’s a health and beauty staple that I can’t live without! The benefits are endless, and at a basic level it makes your skin super-soft and tops it off with a natural glow. When I was younger, my mom usually handled the Shea Butter prep, but now that I’m living away from home I’ve had to learn how to prepare it myself—which is incredibly simple! As we are coming up on the intense winter months, it’s essential that we’re keeping our skin moisturized, as the harshness of the weather can cause it to dry out and/or crack. Rather than buying a brand of Shea Butter that’s possibly injected with harsh chemicals, why not make your own? It’s healthy, it lasts long and it’s inexpensive (something I always have to take into consideration as a student here in NYC). 

Some background on Shea Butter

Shea Butter is a fat extracted from the nut of the African Shea tree. It’s been used in Africa for centuries to protect and condition the skin. It’s naturally rich in Vitamins A, E and F helping soothe, hydrate and balance the skin. Shea Butter also offers a low level of UV protection (around SPF-6) and is great to incorporate into your sunscreen routine!

The traditional extraction consists of separating the nut from its shell. The nuts are then crushed, roasted, grinded, shaped and then hardened for consumption. When sold, natural Shea Butter is offered white or yellow. Both butters are grown from the Karite Tree, but are processed differently. In the milling process, yellow butter has a root from the Borututu Tree that is added to it, giving it the Tumeric color. They both have the same benefits, but in my experience, The Ivory colored Shea is easier to work with and manipulate. Experiment with both, Yellow may be the one for you! 


This is a tutorial based on how my mom and I prepare our Shea Butter! It’s simple, inexpensive and will leave your skin hydrated and glowing. For this recipe, we used 16oz of 100% All Natural Shea Butter, which yielded 2 ½ Mason jars worth of butter. Here’s what you’ll need:

100% All Natural Shea Butter

Virgin Coconut Oil

Your Choice of Essential Oils. Here we used Rosemary, Lavender and Jasmine.

A Carrier Oil that serves as a scent and adds for winter protection. Can also be beneficial for massages! Here, we used Patchouli oil. 

Mason Jars!

*Additional tools: a hand mixer and a double boiler or a medium to large pot. If you don’t have a double boiler, use a heat safe container to sit on top of your pot (like we did). Last but not least, Avocado Oil! 

Let’s get started! 

Go ahead and bring your pot of water to a high boil. 

Once you’ve got your water boiling, sit your heat safe bowl on top of your pot. Go ahead and scoop your entire container of Shea Butter into the bowl.

Here the Shea Butter starts to melt.

Add about half your container of Coconut Oil into the bowl. 

Let your mixture liquefy and then remove your bowl from the boiling pot. Allow mixture cool. Once you see it re-solidify on the top layer(it should still be soft underneath) that’s when you can start blending it.

Blend your butter on a low setting until you start seeing it become a whipped texture. 

Add 10 drops of each essential oil into a tablespoon

Two tablespoons of Avocado oil

Add two tablespoons of your Carrier oil then go ahead and blend these into your Shea Butter.

Behold! Your perfectly whipped and ready to use Shea Butter! Go ahead and scoop the final product into Mason Jars (or the container of your choice) and enjoy!

 Be sure to keep these in a cool and dry storage space. If the temperature gets to warm, they’ll melt and re-solidify. This means no more light and whipped texture.

Thanks for all the help and guidance, Mom!

Lots of love!




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 Body Butter

Jessica Assaf

The next time you run out of your favorite moisturizer, we dare you to make our DIY cream and tell us how superior it is in every way (compared to most plastic bottles of industrial garbage you can find at the drugstore.) You can essentially mix any variation of organic butters and oils and create something amazing. Most raw ingredients can be found on Amazon, at Whole Foods, or from Mountain Rose Herbs. The only supplies you need are the raw ingredients, a glass container, like a mason jar (or even a bowl!) a burner, a small pot or saucepan, and a spoon. Making homemade cream is easier than cooking dinner! Especially if you can convince someone to use it for a nice, long massage... 


  • 1/4 CUP OLIVE OIL 

Note: You can totally substitute the olive oil for any rich, organic oil (like sesame or jojoba or coconut or avocado oil!) 


  1. Clean your jar, bowl, or bottle of your choice 
  2. Measure all of the ingredients (except the essential oils,) into your preferred glass container
  3. Heat a little water in the saucepan or pot, and add the closed container to it, so it functions as a double boiler (you can also add ingredients directly into a pot and slowly heat it on low, but using a double boiler approach prevents the ingredients from burning.) 
  4. Mix the ingredients as they melt together 
  5. After everything is completely melted, carefully take the jar out of the water
  6. Stir the mixture and add essential oils if you want a scented cream
  7. Let the cream cool for about an hour, or place it in the fridge to speed up the process. 
  8. For best results, shake the jar every 20 minutes until it solidifies. 

And don't forget to tell us what you think! Post a photo of your homemade cream on Instagram and use the hashtag #DIYtruthbeauty so we can share your creations with the world! 

DIY Perfume

Jessica Assaf

Do you know what totally stinks? The fact that we have no idea what is in our perfume. "Fragrance" is a proprietary blend of any 5,000 secret synthetic substances that are used in heavy rotation without safety testing or labeling requirements. What we do know is this chemical cocktail almost always contains hormone disruptors, allergens, and petrochemicals. 

The only way we can avoid the potential health hazards of "fragrance" is to only buy from companies that scent their products with organic essential oils.

Or we can make our own! #TRUTHBEAUTY fact. 



  • 1/4 cup vodka (the higher the percentage the better) 
  • Approximately 25 drops organic essential oils 
  • 2 tablespoons distilled water


You can use 25 drops of a single organic essential oil for a simple scent, or you can combine base, middle, and top notes to create a perfume with more depth. Essential oils like lavender, chamomile, bergamot, jasmine, geranium, ylang ylang, and rose promote relaxation, and citrus scents like sweet orange, lemon, and grapefruit are calming and invigorating. 

For a balanced scent, use about 6 drops (20%) of a top note, 8 drops (30%) of a middle note, and 11 drops (50%) of a base note. 

Top notes: the initial scent when you apply the perfume 
Examples: eucalyptus, lemon, orange, grapefruit, bergamot, peppermint, cinnamon, tea tree, sage

Middle notes: adds a balancing effect 
Examples: basil, rosemary, rose, geranium, lavender, pine, chamomile, cypress, juniper, cardamom

Base note: "heavy" oils that are present for a long time
Cedarwood, sandalwood, clove, jasmine, vanilla, ylang ylang 


Combine the vodka and distilled water in your choice of bottle, sprayer, or glass roll-on. Add your choice of essential oils slowly, starting with a few drops of your desired blend. Continue adding oils until you are happy with your creation. Shake or mix to blend! 

You can also combine organic essential oils with a neutral oil (like grape seed, sesame, avocado, or olive oil) to create an amazing massage oil. 

P.S. You can learn more about the dangers of fragrance from the Environmental Working Group's "Not So Sexy" report here

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! 

Grimes Shares Her Natural Beauty Secrets

Alexis Krauss

For today's DIY Friday we're thrilled to feature our friend and fellow natural beauty advocate, Grimes

Like many of us Grimes knows that some of the most extraordinary beauty products can be made simply at home using ordinary ingredients. In addition to being safe and effective these ingredients are all affordable and readily available at your local market or health food store. For those of you looking for a more dramatic look, Grimes shares her newest stage makeup obsession. Enjoy! Xoxo Alexis

Grimes loves coconut oil too!!
Grimes loves coconut oil too!!

Chemical-Free Things  

by Grimes


Sugar works pretty much as well as any store bought exfoliator I've ever used and you can get it for free at any coffee place basically, (although you should probably buy a coffee if it isn't a big chain, or just buy your own sugar).  Wet your face, put a bit of sugar on your hands and gently rub all over your face.  I guess a concern is that it can be a bit harsh if you have sensitive skin.  If that's an issue I've always been down with the Burt's Bees exfoliants, because they are free of plastic microbeads and toxic chemicals.

Coconut Oil:  

Coconut oil is good in food and as a moisturizer on skin, hair etc. so it's definitely a $$ saver.  It doesn't screw my skin up when I use it as an overnight mask on my face.  It tastes really good if you use it for lip gloss as well, although it dissipates quickly or maybe you just end up eating it haha.

Almond Oil:

As a hair mask almond oil is probably better though.  I discovered this because my Step-dad's Mom used it back in India in the 50's.  But yeah, when I bleach my hair (definitely not a chemical free process haha…) I just lather it in almond oil and it really helps.  It's also delicious in food but it's a lot pricier than coconut oil and usually comes in a smaller bottle, but if you only use it as a hair mask it will last for a long time.

Apple Cider Vinegar:

Maybe this is not dermatologist recommended haha, but putting a bit on a cloth and dabbing on your face works pretty nicely as a facial peel.  But again - I do not have sensitive skin so this might screw up some people.

Vanilla Extract: 

I looove perfume.  I find the process of making it to be incredibly fascinating and romantic and kind of goth.  Plus it seems like a pretty healthy alternative to deodorant in general.  But yeah, when I was living outside I really liked using vanilla extract.  In addition to being cheap, it has multiple purposes and smells amazing.  Lavender and ginger extracts are also really nice as 'perfumes'.

Stage Makeup:  

I'm in the process of discovering chemical free brands lately as well because it's a bit more reliable than just using cooking supplies haha.  A makeup artist just got me into this company called Elegant Minerals.  It's definitely for 'crazier' looks or costumes - I usually wear white and dilute it with water for a mild vampire look.  Sometimes I mix it with moisturizer and use it very lightly as regular day makeup but that's because I'm unhealthily pale.   The colours are really good for eyeshadow etc. but can smudge easily.  It's still infinitely better than any traditional face paints I've ever found though in terms of not being flaky.


Non-Toxic Nail Art By Ria Nailz

Alexis Krauss

Manicure maven Ria Lopez, a.k.a. Ria Nailz, is back with some badass yet totally doable nail art. Of course we're using 5 free polish thanks to Zoya and their stunning Matte Velvet collection. Here's how to get the look! Xoxo Alexis What you'll need:

  • Zoya polish in Harlow
  • Nail art brush
  • Black striper
  • Zoya top coat

1. Using a nail art brush or thin paint brush, create the outline using Zoya's Harlow.


2. Fill in the outline.


3. Use a black nail striper  to carefully draw the following designs. Take your time and make sure the striper doesn't get too thick with polish.


4. Leave your masterpiece matte or add Zoya topcoat for a shinier look.