Archive | November, 2014

DIY Night Cream…That Works!

25 Nov

SleepingA little while back, I saw a do-it-yourself recipe for a night cream that seemed easy to make with ingredients that I know had great anti-aging properties. It has been a while since I’ve made any of my own natural skin care, but after researching some of the new ingredients and knowing the nature of the familiar ones, I thought I would give this one a shot, especially with the change in seasons.

After making it about two weeks ago, and using it nightly since, I have definitely noticed a difference in my skin. When I get up in the morning, I thoroughly wash my face (exfoliating twice a week) and can notice softer skin, smoother complexion, less fine lines, and a nice even glow. Very good. Very good indeed.

Of course, me being me, I had to tweak the recipe just a bit to make it the way I like it, but I had my reasons which I’ll explain. But so far, this inexpensive, totally natural night cream is my go-to savior as the temps start to drop and my skin gets drier.

So, ready for me to share? Get a pen because a few things you may have to find…and I’ll tell you where.

Sassy’s Super Night Cream

2 tsp. beeswaxBeeswax is a skin protectant, healer, softener and fights against bad bacterias that can set into dry or chapped skin causing irritation or inflammation.
1 1/2 tsp. coconut oilAgain, coconut oil can fight against dry skin by improving the moisture and lipid content of the skin.
2 tbs. almond oilA staple in my home, almond oil has many positive qualities to benefit the skin from head to toe. This is a true gem that helps balance the PH of the skin, removes dark circles around the eyes, and reduces wrinkles.
1 tsp. grapeseed oilOh, my favorite oil! Its benefits are endless–who knew? It’s great in a night cream because its properties help reduce skin inflammation, tightens skin, moisturizes and fights aging.
1/4 cup aloe vera gelLike many of the other ingredients, aloe helps fight acne, moisturizes and fights aging. What’s great about this specific ingredient is it is not oily and is quickly absorbed to make the night cream light and less greasy.
1 tsp. raw honeyHoney does a lot of what the other products do, but in a raw, fresh way. In addition to the general properties of the other ingredients, honey will also open your pores (making them easy to unclog with your morning wash) and helps give your skin a nice glow.
2/3 tsp. bentonite clayYup, this one is probably new to you. It was for me! But after researching, I find this is the most important ingredient. This clay actually comes from volcanic ash, packed with beneficial minerals while binding to removing toxins. According to Mountain Rose Herbs: “Bentonite, also referred to as Montmorillonite, is one of the most effective and powerful healing clays. A good quality Bentonite should be a grey/cream color…anything bordering “pure white” is suspect. It has a very fine, velveteen feel and is odorless and non-staining.” The clay can actually produce an electrical charge so when working with it, PLASTIC OR WOODEN UTENSILS CAN ONLY BE USED to do the mixing.
1/4 tsp Unsweetened Hi-C Lemonade PowderThis is a great add to give the cream a gentle scent but also adds Vitamin C and Citric Acid which helps to reduce pore size, brighten the skin and speed cell turnover to keep skin looking young.

DIRECTIONS–FOLLOW CLOSE!:
In a small, microwave save plastic bowel (with cover), add the first 3 ingredients and microwave on medium for 1 minute on medium. Remove carefully and stir with a wooden stick or plastic spoon. Repeat for 30 seconds, stirring about a minute in between till wax is melted. Add the aloe gel, grapeseed oil, lemonade & honey into the melted mix. Stir gently and repeat till the cream is completely blended, smooth and is beginning to thicken. While it is still soft, add the bentonite clay. REMEMBER–PLASTIC BOWLS AND SPOONS ONLY! NOTHING METAL!!! Once smooth with no lumps, cover and put in refrigerator for about 2 hours. The steam in the container will add natural moisturizer with the cream. Take out for about an hour before use. One it is out, it can stay at room temperature.

Most of the ingredients you can get either in the market or on eBay. Here is a list on where I found these items:

Almond Oil, Grapeseed Oil, Coconut Oil can all be found in the baking aisle of a regular supermarket usually. You might want to try a higher-end market that specializes in organic products. The Hi-C Unsweetened Lemonade packet can be found in any supermarket drink-mix aisle.

Beeswax can be found on different EBay stores. I get mine from EBay seller “paypalsale”. You can buy just one ounce which is more than enough and shipping is free. Find the link to their listing –> here

Pure Aloe Vera Gel can also be found on EBay. I got mine from EBay seller “bodygrin”. You can find a listing for the aloe gel with free shipping –> here

Bentonite clay can be sold with additives so it’s important to find a pure product. I really like the one I got from EBay seller “hedys-haven”. You can find a link to their clay –> here

This recipe will give you a decent sized container of night cream that can be kept out next to the bed or on your bathroom counter. The “cream” can be a little waxy with the amount of beeswax used, but I like the health benefits that the beeswax contains so I add a bit more. Even waxy, the cream will melt at skin temperature, so it will go on thin when warmed between the fingers. Make sure you wash your face in the morning because the night cream will turn the cells over while you sleep and you will want to wash the “old” ones away in the morning, leaving your face feeling soft and looking bright & young!

Have fun making yourself a natural, healthy night cream that does what you need and more… without unneeded chemicals, additives or the added price of retail advertising. Not to mention, with the amount you’ll get out of one batch and how little you will use? You probably will have enough to keep you looking young for pennies for a long, long time!

It’s Not Winter… Yet.

23 Nov

imageThe calendar says November. Last time I checked, winter started sometime in December. And Christmas came AFTER that. So even though the leaves all are off the trees, my local stores have their decorations up, balsam wreaths are for sale, and Santa is at the Mall, I’m sticking with all my might not to lose sight of the fact it is fall. My favorite season. And I’ll enjoy it while I can.

Now, the fact remains we have already had about an inch of snow fall outside my back door, my furnace is on, firewood is being delivered this week, and all of my boots and sweaters have been brought out of storage. It did get cold. Really cold. Really fast. But I still see my lawn, I still see fallen leaves, and I still see my pumpkins on my front step. In my mind?… autumn is still around. And we can enjoy a few transition things to keep us looking and feeling our best before we look like an Eskimo–24/7.

So what are a few things I am glamming up on before the Arctic chill officially hits? Check out these pre-winter but still fall goodies that I’m finding are a must have right now:

imagePaul Mitchell Super Skinny Serum – Snowing or not, we have to acknowledge that furnaces across America are kicking on. And this, in turn, is causing hair–my hair!!–to get dry and frizzy. When I got a sample of this clear wonder, I figured I would give it a shot. The only thing that concerned me was the fact that the bottle stressed to only use ONE PUMP into my hands, rub together, and run through hair. I’m like, “Glamourista PUH-LEEZE! I’ve got hair longer than a horses tail!” One? Okay…sure. We will play by rules. So I put one dollop in my hands and ran it through. And yes!…. one just about did it. I added a little more to the ends just to make sure they got coated too. But I must say a little does goes a long way so use what it says! It seals moisture into each strand making it shiny and keeping the frizzies in check. Perfect for the weather right now! (Sassy gets hers from paulmitchell.com)

imageForGoodnessGrape Gingerbread Lip Balm & Sugar Scrub – I love the scents of all of the late year holidays. I am the only one in the house, however, who is a big fan of gingerbread. I can buy it and no one else in the house eats it. Perfect. Awesome. Proper. When fall hits, I love all the seasonings associated with the season. I burn candles, mix oils & bake breads and other delicious delectables with these sweet spices. So if I can burn them and eat them, why not wear them if the opportunity arises? So I do! ForGoodnessGrape is my go-to resource when my lips begin to get cranky with the seasons changing. With a flavor for any holiday, season or mood, they always have something to keep me and my lips happy. I use the sugar scrub to gently exfoliate the chapped, dead skin on my lips then replenish and seal in moisture. Their gingerbread combo is one of my favorites this time of year. And yes, my lips certainly like it too!! (Sassy lands these goodies at forgoodnessgrape.com)

imageL’Oreal Paris Infallible 24 HR Eye Shadow in “Bottomless Java” and “Iced Latte” – Im not sure why but I wear very little warm colored clothing in the spring and summer months compared to what I wear in the fall and winter. I probably only have two pairs of brown flats and one pair of brown sandals. That’s it. But for fall and winter? I have at least two pair of high boots, a pair of suede over-the-knee boots, and at least two-three pair of shorter, combat style boots. I wear more brown and ivory sweaters than any other color (after black of course.) If I’m going to rock some slammin’ style in warm color tones, I need some makeup to match. The Infallible Shadow line from L’Oreal has always been a favorite of mine and they’ve even added more colors! Now I have two great warm shades to compliment my look when brown earth-tones make their way out of my closet. Because these two eye shadows can really make your eyes POP! with the right mascara and liner, I suggest keeping your lip shade natural with a hint of clear shine or a gentle nude long-wearing gloss. You won’t need to worry about your eye shadow, though. Any Infallible shade from L’Oreal will stay put. All. Day. Long. Epic! (Sassy grabs these eyeshadows at CVS.com)

imageMacy’s Material Girl Kurt Combat Booties – Speaking of boots, I have my own personal theory about boots and changing seasons: boots should get higher only when snow rises and the temps fall. So, when the weather is 30 degrees on Monday and 55 by Friday, lower booties are just fine for now. And I have my fair share. Some are leather, some are suede. Some are grey, some black, some brown, even some taupe. If I have the outfit, I have a pair of boots to match. I have a wonderful pair of black suede combat booties that I have had forever. They fit great, comfortable as heck. But I wanted another pair with no heel height in leather just for a change up now and then. This was a well thought out purchase: reading reviews, checking style, and considering comfort feedback. Then, the day I went to order them, I got an online code for 25% off. Score!!! I love how they fit and feel. Nice support, true to size, and comfortable for all day wear. Great find for the fashion closet that was very reasonably priced. (Yup, Sassy grabbed this gem at Macys.com)

image“Dolce” by Dolce & Gabbana – I don’t know. I’m just one of those girls that feels she needs to start a new season with at least one new fragrance. This year, I did it a bit backwards I think. I ordered a new fragrance for fall that caught my nose (and those of my fellow workers) almost immediately. It had a dark, alluring, almost naughty edge to it. It was deep, and honestly, that’s not usually me. But this one worked. So I gave it a try. Well, I’m still loving it, don’t get me wrong, but I think it’s a bit too heavy too early. So I’m backing that scent up in the drawer and getting a new fragrance that I got as a sample in my boot order. Dolce & Gabbana is one of those companies that usually always delivers an appealing scent to me, for both men and women. This one didn’t let me down either. It is fresh, feminine, elegant and youthful with significant notes of white flowers and white amaryllis. This scent can be worn all year round since it doesn’t really reflect the season, but more the person wearing it. The sample sold–I will be adding this rollerball to my collection this week! (This was a great deal for Sassy at Nordstrom.com since they NEVER charge shipping!)

So, you see? There is room in between seasons where adjustments can be made to your fashion and glamour collection. In addition to adding a few new things, take this transitional time to go through storage to sort out your next seasonal collection of clothes. Try them on, ask yourself how much you wore that piece last year. Once or less? Put it away in a box for a consignment shop. Check their condition too. You may love that glitter Guess sweater beyond words, but if it’s faded, has a hole or two and missing sequins, you’ll have to realize it is only being held together by memories…you may have to say goodbye. It’s okay. Really, it is. Plus, we know fashion: As soon as that new Vince Camuto ombré sweater catches your eye… you’ll forget all about that other one.

Fall divider

Enjoy the rest of your fall!

“Easy Come, Easy Go”–Fall Style

9 Nov

Easy come easy goTick Tock, Tick Tock…

Okay, let me sum this up as best as I can, as quick as I can:
It is 11:40 pm
1). I have insomnia
2). I’m beyond stressed
3). I’m watching repeats of Sex and the City

No big deal, right? Actually right now, it’s not. But when Carrie starts going mentally nuts because Big wants to leave his wife for her, it will get very tense. I understand… to most of you, that means nothing. But to those who understand, I’ll pause for a moment while you get a Swiss Roll and a pint of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream.

Even being somewhat back in the workforce hasn’t completely taken me out of the world of SATC. I still know every episode and the storyline and outcome of each. The one I’m watching right now? “Easy Come, Easy Go.” Oh, I could go through the plot but it’s really involved and you probably either already know or don’t care.

But I will spin the episode title a bit for the sake of this post: Easy come, easy go. I can apply that to this week, specifically. A few things came and went for this fashionista. And they all had their own personal relevance. So let’s incorporate this theme into Sassy’s agenda:

imageEasy Come–Converse Chuck Taylor All Star ‘Ox-Sparkle Wash’ Low Top Sneaker.
This purchase was easy peasy. Fall is here…walking in heels is dangerous, flats can get wet, too early for many boots. So what do you wear when the whether is sh*t but still want to have some style? An epic style of Chuck Taylor’s. This pair looks a little like stone washed denim but in black. Definitely jazzy, and if you pair them with a nice pair of straight legged dark wash jeans and a layered look hoodie top, you’ve got a nice ensemble for a casual day! A fabulous add to my new seasonal footwear. (Sassy’s Steal: $44.99 (sale), Norstrom.com)

imageEasy Go–Aveeno Ultra-Calming Makeup Removing Wipes.
Getting late? Too tired to go through the whole nightly face routine of washing, exfoliating, treating, moisturizing, etc.? Keep these by the bed for those lazy nights! I stand by the statement: never let the pillow be your washcloth. But you can just rid your day of the dirt, grime and makeup with this pre-moisten cloth that takes everything off your face, even mascara. Just an easy wipe-wipe-gone! Keep a sample size of your favorite night cream & eye cream just treat your face after you’ve said goodbye to all the goop. (Sassy’s Fave: Yes To Blueberries Age Refresh Cleansing Facial Towelettes, $6.59. CVS)

imageEasy Come–Roxy Hooded Sweater.
I know I probably already have a sh*t ton of sweaters packed away to get me into this season, but with me kind of expanding my writing as well as putting in time with the tattoo shop, I need some comfort and warmth too. I’m trying to bring out the lightest weight sweaters first, and TJ Maxx has a great array of Roxy tops at fabulous prices. Warm, fun hoodies, soft and comfortable makes these sweaters a staple in my closet now. I picked up a black and neutral one to get started! (Sassy’s Steal: $29.99, TJ Maxx stores)

imageEasy Go–Philosophy’s Homemade Honey Buns Shower Gel and Lotion.
I love checking out TJ Maxx’s skin care, make up, and body area when I go. I have a few products that I specifically look for because the price is so good if I find them. This venture didn’t get me what I usually look for but it did land me a set of sweet smelling, delicious body treats that are perfect for the changing seasons. The bath & shower gel smells just like warm honey breakfast rolls right out of the oven. A great way to wash the blues right down the drain. And it’s an “easy go” for dry skin with a non-greasy body moisturizer in the same tasty scent. A great way for those stresses to say buh-bye with a smell so soothing to the senses. (Sassy’s Steal: $7.99 each, TJ Maxx stores)

So you see how an episode of Sex and the City can be turned around to fit even into the simplest days? I turned “Easy Come, Easy Go” into an article about what needs to come into your glamour collection for this fall. But that’s just a general rambling about what I did tonight. Stay tuned because Fall is upon us and I will be trying and discovering more and more things soon, without a doubt!!