Beauty and the Beets

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I have extremely sensitive skin.  Just looking at something wrong will cause me to break out in hives, rashes, or various forms of acne.  So I’m very careful about the stuff that I put on and in my body.  I also find that soaps, lotions, and all that stuff made with all natural ingredients seem to me to be more luxurious than the anonymous filled plastic bottles you can pick up at any store.  Why not share that luxury as a gift?  There are two high-powered executive type ladies in my family, so I thought I’d make a little “working woman’s survival kit.”  Here, then, are instructions (from various places) for some little home-made beauty products with a touch of luxury.  I’ll start with the hardest project first, and move to the easiest, though I wouldn’t really call any of these projects hard.

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Let’s make some lip balm!  It’s frightening how much you can pay for this stuff in the stores.  This recipe here, which I modified from one I saw on TLC, produces about 3/4 cup (6oz) of lip balm (which filled 12 little half-ounce tubs), and cost me about $4 in supplies.  BAM.  If you were wondering, I got the plastic tubs from Patch on Etsy.

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Start with 1/4 cup beeswax.  You can get this in tiny, easy-to-melt pearls from some places, but this being Newfoundland I got it in a solid 2oz block, which is pretty much 1/4 cup.  This stuff is local, from Paradise Farms.

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I grated it and cut it up into little pieces.  I recommend getting all your ingredients measured and containers ready to go beforehand, because once this is ready to go you will need to act quickly.

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Pop the wax into a double boiler (or metal bowl set over a pot of bubbling water) and let it melt completely. It won’t take long.

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Add in 1/4 cup almond oil and 2 tablespoons coconut oil.

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Don’t freak out if the wax curdles — it’s just adjusting to the cooler temperatures of the oils, and will melt again.  Just keep stirring. I also added a few drops of peppermint essential oil at this point, just for a nice cooling sensation on your lips and a fresh scent.

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When everything has been fully liquified again, you can remove the pot from the heat.  Whisk in 2 tablespoons beet juice for colouring (you can leave this out if you wish and your balm will be whitish or ivory, depending on the colour of your wax).  You can add more if you wish, but make sure to whisk it well, as it won’t fully combine with the wax and oil.

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Quickly transfer the liquid to a cup with a spout and pour into your containers.

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I worked too slowly (because I was taking pictures, which then ended up blurry, damnit) and had to re-melt my lip balm in the microwave to get it all out.  Make sure to wipe out the cup and the melting bowl with a paper towel before you wash them — it can get messy otherwise.  Work whatever is leftover into your hands.  It’s quite nice.

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I probably should have smiled for this photo.  But I didn’t realize how grumpy my mouth looks this close up.  😦  But the balm is very nice, very refreshing and smooth.

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Let’s make some deodorant!  Store-bought deodorants are full of all kinds of gross things, and there have been studies done on the links between aluminum used in anti-perspirants and Alzheimer’s.  This recipe, which I modified from the one here, has four ingredients, and each one has a specific purpose.  I doubled what I will present to you below, but it produces about half a cup of solid deodorant.

In a medium bowl, whisk together 1/4 cup baking soda and 1/4 cup arrowroot or corn starch.  The baking soda is your key deodorizer, and the starch is your moisture-wicking agent.

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Melt 6 tablespoons coconut oil (your moisturizing agent and the stuff that will hold everything together in solid form) and whisk that in as well.  Add in a few drops of tea tree oil (for antibacterial purposes, and to add a light scent).  I also added in a few drops of lavender essential oil, just for the frivolity of it all — I know, that makes FIVE ingredients.  I love the combination of lavender and tea tree.

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Pour that into a container with a lid and allow to solidify.  Apply it to your underarms with your fingertips.  Voila.

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***EDIT: So I’ve been using this for a little while now and I have to say that, at least for me, this stuff works BETTER than either the super dooper organic and chemical-free version or the regular brand-name stuff you pick up in the drug store.  Sure, it’s a little grainy going on, but it lasts way longer, there’s no residue getting anywhere it shouldn’t, and in terms of actually deodorizing, it’s tops! ***

Let’s make some shower scrubs!  I think that salt/sugar scrubs are the epitome of pampering oneself at home, so I decided to make not one, but two different kinds.

Orange Salt & Sugar Scrub: In a bowl, mix together 1 cup sugar and 1/2 cup sea salt.

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Add in 1/2 cup melted coconut oil, 3 tablespoons almond oil, and 2 tablespoons vitamin E oil (you can get that at the drug store).

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Add in a few drops of orange essential oil, as well as finely grated orange zest.  Stir well.

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Scoop into a container with a tightly-fitting lid, and keep in your bathroom for when you have some extra time in the shower.  Just remember that those oils can make the shower very slippery when you rinse off, so be careful.

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Brown Sugar & Coffee Scrub: Did you know that caffeine is a great thing for your skin?  In a bowl, mix together 1 cup dark brown sugar and 1 cup finely ground coffee (not used coffee grounds).

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Add in 3 tablespoons honey and 1/2 cup light olive oil and mix to combine.

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Scoop that into a container with a tight lid and keep that in the bathroom as well, for when your skin needs a little pick-me-up in the morning!

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Let’s make some eye makeup remover!  This is so easy, it’s like not even a thing.  Mix together 4 tablespoons olive oil with 3 tablespoons almond oil.  To remove your waterproof eye makeup, simply moisten a cotton ball with the stuff and there you go!

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Tidy up the edges of your containers before you put the lids on.  Decorate your containers with a few personal touches.

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Presentation is important, even though it’s what’s IN the containers that counts!

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Author: allythebell

A corgi. A small boy. A sense of adventure. Chaos ensues.

42 thoughts on “Beauty and the Beets”

  1. OH MY GOD. I *need* that lip balm!

    Also, your lips don’t look grumpy. TBH, you’ve got quite nice lips for photographing. Well defined and all that. (I say this objectively… having read a lot of makeup blogs, some people have DREADFUL lips for photographing and their lips look like a bunch of mush up close.)

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  2. I also have somewhat sensitive skin. You are much smarter than I. I just try not to wear makeup usually, but none of my stuff is homemade – I just stick to La Roche Posay and Aveeno and I (usually) have happy skin!

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  3. My mother-in-law has been going on lately about how my 9yo step-son needs to use deodorant as when the mother came to pick him up for the school holidays she was all “he’s just a kid, he doesn’t need to use deodorant”. You could have cut the air with the knife they wanted to stab in each others backs. However kids in tropical climates get all sweaty and stinky the minute they leave the shower, so I’m taking the mother-in-law’s side. But I think it will be much nicer to make him a deodorant with natural products for his lovely soft kiddie underarms, and the finger application will work because, like his dad, he applies the roll on and then rubs it in with his hands (seems strangely purpose defeating to me). Thanks for the recipes Ali!

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  4. Great post Ali! I loved the Brown Sugar & Coffee Scrub. If I weren’t planning on exfoliating with it, I would most certainly eat it instead.

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  5. Hi Ali, a follow up to my earlier comments. I made the deodorant (alas no essence de macho, but found baby talc fragrance) and the boyfriend loves the smell of the coconut and baby talc. He suggested less of the baking soda because he’s not a fan of the graininess, but I told him to suck it up. Haven’t yet experimented with the 9yo as he’s holidaying with his mum. It is definitely a great deodoriser and is great at keeping sweat at bay here in the tropical climes of Colombia. I was only able to find a liquid coconut oil here and I’m not sure if it’s the humidity or it’s liquid state, but the oil rises to the top, so I have drained off a couple of tablespoons. Next batch I think I’ll go with 3 tbs to start with. Also, after I forked out for little bottles of the coconut oil at a specialist shop I found a 1L bottle of it in a supermarket for about $5 (Aussie, Canadian or US they’re all about the same). They fry anything and everything here, so I maybe there are coconut oil fried fries on the menu somewhere… Next task is to find beeswax and almond oil to make lip balm. Feliz navidad!

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  6. Hi, i just made the Orange Salt & Sugar Scrub. I made some as a present for a friend and kept a leftover for myself. The scrub works great and it makes my skin feel very soft. Thanks for blogging. I love to see more homemade stuff!

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