It’s not too soon to start thinking about a Father’s Day DIY gift, and this Bay Rum aftershave is my new favorite thing to make. You can even just stop after making the Bay Rum and gift it as a great smelling cologne. Here’s the How To: https://botanicalalchemyandapothecary.com/bay-rum-aftershave-and-toner
This recipe is a fun one to do with kids because the process of whipping the cooled, melted liquid into a butter is quite magical to witness. And that’s just a start of the beauty alchemy because it also transforms dry patches, hands, feet, and elbows, into soft, silky, moisturized parts. Try putting a big scoopful on your feet before bed with socks, or on your hands, and see how different your hands and/or feet are in the morning.
Full recipe is here:
Enjoy this last week of February! My kids have their first snow day of the year today so it seems winter is sticking around here. I hope you are getting some hints of spring wherever you are!
Looking for some new ideas for DIY gifts this year? Find some inspiration here including bath and spa products, gifts for cooks, and luxurious personal care touches, all natural and herbal, of course!
Hello everyone! I’ve been quiet here lately b/c I’ve been working on a new blog site which I can’t wait to share with you. I started Spice of Life Blog right after finishing grad school when I just wanted a place to write again in a way that wasn’t in the grad school genre and reclaim my personal voice. Now I’m ready to start putting more time into a blog and although I thought about just reworking this space a bit, it quickly became clear I needed a new look, new categories, new everything, and so instead of a remodel, I guess I’m moving houses. I so hope you’ll join me!
Much like this one, my new blog will be about herbs, food intolerances (both managing and healing them), essential oils, natural foods/products, and green beauty. In the future I hope to have links to other herbalists and wellness practitioners around the world as a kind of virtual healing center resource. I also intend to offer herbal classes and tutorials there as well, and perhaps even some products. This is just the beginning and I hope to see you there at my new site, Botanical Alchemy & Apothecary. Please subscribe and let me know what you think about the new look. I’m still in the setting up phase and welcome suggestions.
PS~ If you know anyone else who is interested in herbs, essential oils, food intolerances, natural foods and products, and green beauty, please share the address: www.botanicalalchemyandapothecary.com with them. I can’t wait to have a community of like-minded people sharing ideas and growing and learning together.
Happy October everyone!
You can make your own natural perfumes at home and avoid the chemicals found in other perfumes which can be hazardous to your health. Essential oils are not only good for your health and well-being, they are also good for the environment too. You can use other ingredients besides essential oils, such as olive oil infused with rose petals or lavender, a hydrosol such as rosemary or orange, or even vanilla extract. This video shows how to make a perfume with just essential oils and it’s so easy, you’ll never want to buy a bottle of perfume again. (But you can reuse the perfume bottles you do have!)
The biggest thing is, don’t get hung up on proportions. There are no hard and fast rules, just start with a high proof alcohol like vodka or a base oil like jojoba or sweet almond oil, then add 10 drops of essential oil per teaspoon of base (the vodka or oil.) Add more essential oils if it isn’t strong enough. It’s really that easy!
If you don’t know where to begin, I have gathered some essential oil combinations from different sources on my pinterest board called Essential Oils. Really though, you can just start with one essential oil that you know you love, and if you want, combine it, one drop at a time with another essential oil you like. Combining scents can be surprising in that the results are often far different than you imagined, and even oils that you may not have considered alike in any way can end up complementing each other beautifully.
You can read more about DIY perfumes and body oils here. To make your own body and room sprays, check out this post. Have a creative and lovely time!
This is what I dream about making~ an all-natural salon and spa which only uses chemical-free dyes with henna and herbs,all natural hair products, and spa services with all botanical ingredients, nothing artificial or questionable or unpronounceable. I don’t know why these don’t exist already actually but I’ve searched and can’t find any place that is completely chemical free. Henna dying takes longer, so there would have to be WiFi so people can work while their hair color settles, and an organic coffee and juice bar for sure, and also the ability to do mani/pedis or other services to use the time well. I’d have all natural products to browse too, and be a real stickler on only bringing in the cleanest of the clean beauty companies out there, and really there has never been a better time for this because so many people are concerned about what is in their products that they slather on their bodies each day or soaks into their hair on a regular basis. Aveda started out trying to be as all-natural as possible, but if you look at their products now they may have a botanical component but the larger part is factory made chemicals. The book No More Dirty Looks discusses Aveda founder (the late) Horst M. Rechelbacher’s disappointment in what Aveda became after selling it to Estée Lauder. He went on to create Intelligent Ingredients which went back to his all natural philosophy. The website for No More Dirty Looks is a great place to get good information for health and beauty products but I highly recommend reading the book if you are concerned at all about what is lurking in your daily beauty routine. I think it’s time to take these cosmetic industry concerns beyond the bathroom and level up to the salons and spas we use. It’s the ‘natural’ next step.
As promised, a henna update~
I’m ridiculously awkward with selfies but this is my hair after using henna all over once and on my grey roots about 4 times over the course of the month:
As you can see, the hair still has color variation which was important to me. The roots are definitely harder to color but it does stick after a few times. Worth it. It’s easy too~ don’t let the instructions intimidate you as they did me for quite a while! I’m hooked! All it really requires is washing the hair, mixing the henna with warm water, then putting the henna on and leaving it to set for an hour or two. When washing it out, you can just use water and reapply (for extra coverage on the grey) or if you are finished, use conditioner and then blow-dry. It’s healthy for the hair so it can be used as often as needed and the results are great!
I used henna color lab because their dyes are truly all herbal and they have a great variety of colors. The shade I have been using is medium brown. Natural beauty products have it all!
I’m a sucker for a good infographic, especially one that details something I’m interested in and natural, healthy beauty is definitely on my priorities list. There are so many healthy alternatives to the toxic nastiness passed off as beauty products that it doesn’t make sense to put something poisonous, even just potentially poisonous, on our bodies and hair and nails. Make-up, masks, spa routines, and herbal enhancements have been around since ancient times so there is a wealth of history and tradition to draw upon when it comes to modern beauty routines, but we humans seem to have a tendency to want to replicate nature whenever we can to lessen costs, get a patent on it, “improve” upon it (though our bodies innately recognize what is natural and what is not), and therefore make more money. With these things on my mind, I’ve decided to start using Henna on my hair instead of the usual dye. (My brown hair has a large percentage of white or else I wouldn’t dye it at all, but I’m not ready for grey hair just yet, not when there is natural alternative anyway!) I’ll post my results soon because Henna has a bad rap which I think is truly undeserved because I’m feeling pretty positive about it so far. You’ll have to come back and tell me what you think. In the meantime, check out this infographic from Delicious Living and maybe think about what is in your cabinet that could be replaced with something that truly makes you feel beautiful and healthy. Once you discover how instinctively natural products work with your body you’ll never go back to triclosan and phthalates again. And I guarantee your hair, nails, and skin will thank you.
This is a great visual from abesmarket.com of some of the worst toxins in beauty products that should be avoided:
I’ll just add Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS ) and Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES) which are foaming ingredients in soaps, shampoos, and toothpaste. They cause a multitude of problems including hormone disruption. It’s a dangerous world in the beauty aisle. Be careful out there.
Just thought I’d share this little gem, since I’ve tried just about every anti-frizz product out there and this one seems to work really quite well. I have a warning to give with it though, it is not only anti-frizz, it is also pro-curly so I imagine it will not make it to most people’s want list. I love it though, and for what it is worth, I prefer my hair on the wavy/curly side to straight despite the mass inclination the other way. Luckily I’ve married the one person on earth who thinks straight hair the inferior kind~ and we have actually gone rounds about this~ seriously had multiple fights about what is generally considered the best texture. He seems to think I say that everyone prefers straight hair in a poor-me-the-lonely-outsider kind of way. When I bring up real evidence, such as when I get my hair done they always assume I want it blown dried straight and there are always articles about how to straighten hair~ to which my husband says, “so you are getting your evidence from Cosmo?” He thinks everyone desires some wave in their and that stick straight is the worst thing a person would have to deal with~ obviously he does not read Cosmo, thank goodness. But anyway, back to this product I found at Whole Foods. It is Shikai’s Color Reflect Curl Enhancer, though I found it makes my hair more beach-wavy than truly curly like salon products do.