My Favorite Home Made Beauty Recipes

1. Favorite Facial Scrub: Honey and Sugar 

1 tsp. of honey
1/2 tsp. of sugar (either cane or brown — both work well)

Blend in bowl. Apply. Rinse very thoroughly, as this recipe can be slightly sticky.

2. Favorite Face mask: Oatmeal and Yogurt 

  • 1 tbsp oatmeal, finely ground
  • 1 tbsp live, organic yogurt (skip the flavored stuff)
  • A few drops of honey
Add the yogurt to the oatmeal in a small bowl and mix together.Warm a few drop of honey. To do this, warm a spoon under hot water for a minute, then add a few drops of honey to the spoon.

Stir the honey into the yogurt and oatmeal mixture.

Apply the mask to the face. Leave it on for 10 minutes, then rinse off with several splashes of warm water. Follow with a warm washcloth.

3. Favorite Hair Mask: Banana and Yogurt

Peel 2 bananas and puree them in the blender. Pour in a bowl and mix 3 tablespoons of plain white yogurt and 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Combine all the ingredients. Apply this banana mask on your hair and leave it for about 30 minutes. Wash your hair with lukewarm water.
You may add 2-3 drops of essential oil. (Try lavender or rosemary for hair growth). Save the left-over mask in an air-tight container and refrigerate it and re-use it later.

4. Favorite Body Exfoliant: Sea Salt 

  • Sea salt
  • Extra virgin Olive oil
  • Essential oil (of your choice)

Take equal parts of the oil and salt and mix them to let the salt soak up the oil. Add a few drops of your favorite essential oil.

5. Favorite Body Soak: Lavender& Honey Milk Bath


10 drops Lavender Essential oil
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1/3 cup Honey

Mix together lavender oil, milk and honey in a bowl, then pour into a jar. Before each use, shake the jar and pour half of the mixture into the bath. Store covered in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Makes enough for 2 baths.

Enjoy all these recipes 🙂 Happy July,6! My Birthday is in 9 Days, something BIG is coming up!

 

Disclaimer: I have tried all the above recipes, and survived 🙂

 

 

 

Facials, the Russian Way

Have you ever gotten a facial? You know the really good one where you get a warm towel wrapped around your face, and everything smells good, and you get some nice treatments and off you go, happy as a clam? I have. I have also had the exact opposite of what I have just described above. The Russian Facial! I believe it’s called the mechanical facial, correct me if I am wrong! But here is what you do:

– Wash your face

-Steam it

And then the torture begins. The poking, the popping, the piercing, even the massage that I usually get in the end doesn’t do it for me. And the masks/treatments, they hurt! And make my skin itch and burn. But just for a day!

I started getting facials when I was in college. I had a lot of problems with my skin, it’s always been acne prone. So getting a facial was the last resort for me. I can’t really remember if they helped in college. I believe they did. But going there again this year, after being gone for over 2, I saw the difference, and so did my skin. Now this is not an advertisement of the salon where I get it, or of my cosmetologist, because I have gone to both of them, it’s a story about how I got my skin back.

Those of you who know me, know how much looking good imatters to me. Since I became an on line ESL teacher, it’s also important to look good for my students. Yes I know they probably can’t tell, but I can. And for us women, it’s important that if we can tell, then we don’t care if you can’t. I have my mind set on smth and it’s all that matters.

Now to prove my words, I have a picture of myself back from September, when I was visiting a friend in PA, this was taken at the King of Prussia mall

While I was trying some hair extensions on, my girlfriend snapped this pic of me! And even though the only word that comes to mind is GROSS, I am thankful to her! Because now I have the evidence of what I used to look like!

No one wants to see that walking towards them down the isle, do they?

I have somehow managed to tame those zits down, chamomile tea, clay masks(I’ve mentioned them a while ago), zinc supplements, herbal teas, antibiotics, you name it, I’ve tried it.

Back in May I went to my cosmetologist and asked for a facial, and even Sam (through a webcam) could tell there was an amazing result! I am more than grateful to her. She did save my skin, especially from those painful under skin acne.

And as much torture as it is, I will survive all the needle pokes, and the masks, and yes, there will be tears in my eyes. But the skin looks and feels so good the next day.

My cosmetologist keeps telling me how good it started to look, and she always knocks on wood, or spits over the shoulder not to jinx it. And by the way, she calls me Lena 🙂

 

PS. I have only 2 weeks left, that means 2 more visits. Needless to say when I get back to the US, I am getting a Clarisonic!

Also, there are plenty of pics on my blog for you to see what my skin looks like now. I didn’t really want to do a before/after thing, after all I am not advertising any product, I am simply sharing about what helped me!

Oh Barrettes!

First of all it’s a fun word to say! And second of all, they are super cute. But you gotta be careful, because some of them are really ugly!

I came across these barrettes while looking up wedding stuff. I believe I found them thanks to Calligraphy by Jennifer (check out their FB page https://www.facebook.com/CalligraphyByJennifer)

So yesterday, while I had nothing to do, I made some of my own, using up the leftover vintage lace that I had, crocheted pieces, and some “pearls”

Also, I thought it would be fun to put them in your dogs hair 🙂 But I don’t have a dog, so I found this one on line!

Happy Tuesday Everyone!

 

Lilacs

This is my favorite time of the year, when I walk out of the front door, and it smells better outside than inside! And no air freshener can compare! I am talking about the smell of lilacs.

When I was little, we were always looking for the 5 leaf lilac flower (like the 4 leaf clover), but instead of keeping it, you were supposed to eat it, while making a wish!

Unfortunately I can’t share the scent, but at least I can share the beauty!

Lilacs were an inspiration not only for artists, but make-up artists as well, here are some amazing lilac colored products on the market out there

Essie Nail polish – Lilac – St. Lucia Lilac

Maybelline Legendary Lilac Eyeshadow

NYX Frosted Lilac Eyeshadow

I even wore lilac eyeshadow today, it’s a good thing Sephora Blockbuster has a ton of lilac inspired colors!

Some Skin Care tricks I learned in Russia!

We all want our skin to look amazing! Especially on our face, because today’s world is all about looks! You don’t get no good job if you are ugly! I know how cruel it sounds, but it’s true.

I have recently subscribed to a YouTube channel, well several channels to be exact and they all belong to so-called beauty gurus! BS? Maybe, but it’s fun to watch. My fav ones are Azeri sisters from Toronto! I have mentioned them in one of my previous posts, so please check it out & send the girls some love!

http://www.youtube.com/user/EverythingLuxy

Anyways, here are some products and some tricks that I learned while living in Russia!

1. Birch (or any Tar) Soap.

Costs less than a dollar, perfect for your skin, but the smell – well, you can get used to it! This is an American equivalent (though it’s pine tar, not birch)

2. Clay.

This is an amazing treatment for problem skin, you can use it on the entire face or on different parts of your face, or directly on the blemishes. Clay enriches your skin with minerals and other vitamins. My advise is – keep that clay moist, because when it dries, it really pulls on your skin! There are different kinds of clay that serve different purposes. For example:

White clay is perfect for oily skin, it helps fight the oil build-up. Don’t use it if you have dry skin, because white clay will over dry it.

Gray clay moisturizes and serves as a toner, it is also a great detox for the face and for the entire body!

Blue clay cleanses, whitens, helps fight acne, disinfects skin, removes dead skin cells. It also stimulates hair growth!

Yellow clay is great for aging skin. But it’s also great for cellulite treatment, and acne treatment.

Green clay is used to fight oily skin, greasy hair and dandruff.

Red clay enriches your body with iron.

Pink clay is a mix of white and red, is used for a delicate skin care routine, as well as in some shampoos for normal hair.

Black clay helps fight cellulite, and also promotes weight loss!

This is what it looks like:

And here is an American equivalent:

They sell it at Vitamin Shoppe I believe.

3. Herbs.

If you are following my blog, you know that I gave up coffee and tea for a week, instead I am mixing my own herbal teas. I buy them at a drug store, super cheap, that’s what they look like:

 

Now I don’t really know where to buy those in the States, so feel free to leave comments and tell me : )))))

Those herbs are also great to make hair rinses. The one I use is made from burdock root!

I hope you enjoyed my little post about Russian remedies, treatments and such! Try them out, tell me how they worked for you! I do those almost every day!

Xoxo

Essential Oils, Essential in My Life

Today I wanted to talk a little about essential oils, and how to use them in your everyday life. When you say essential oils, a lot of people think – Aromatherapy. And yes, those oils are used first and foremost in this area of body care. But being the freak of nature that I am, I can’t last through a massage session. Ask my best friend, she will tell you all about my giggles and twitches!

 

How do I use essential oils in aromatherapy? I simply add them to the water that I pour into my humidifier, so it turns into an air refreshner as well! I use peppermint or tea tree oils to increase productivity (I work from home, and we all know how lazy one can sometimes get), lemon when I want to freshen up the air in the room, and lavender when I want to sleep well at night.

This is a very safe and easy way to use essential oils, and you only need a few drops of whatever oil you choose. So for the frugal person inside of all of us – Essential oils last a very long time, definitely worth the buck. I just wanted to brag that in Russia Essential Oils are a lot a lot cheaper than in the US, so if you get a chance, or if you know someone, ask them to bring you oils from there.

How do I use Essential Oils in body care? Those of you who know me, know about my frugal side, and the fact that I don’t like spending extra, unless I have to. In my personal opinion mouthwashes are a waste of money, unless you buy in bulk, which I don’t do. Now I have nothing against the American Mouthwashes (Crest and Act will always be my favorites), but in Russia mouthwash is extremely overpriced, and honestly – not worth it! So I created my own. I saved a bottle from one of the mouthwashes, you could also use a glass jar, or a plastic water bottle (but those bottles can’t be used for over 2 weeks, so be careful!), poured some water into it (can be tap if you have clean water, or filtered, water from the fridge is good!) and added 7 drops of tea tree oil and peppermint oil. The best mouthwash I’ve used in years, cheap too. A great option for those of you living in countries, where good brands aren’t available. I even got my mom hooked on it 🙂 !

A lot of people say that Orange Essential Oil helps fight cellulite, but I haven’t tried it, so I don’t know. In my opinion the two things that fight cellulite the best are: Workouts and Healthy Food!

How do I use Essential oils in Hair care? I have recently come across some great articles on www.livestrong.com A great resource for everyone, who wants to make their life healthier and use natural products. I followed some of their advice on hair care. First one was about adding lavender oil to your shampoo or conditioner. You will need about 30 drops per bottle. I use a very big Nexxus bottle, I believe it’s 14 oz, and I have less than 1/4 left, so I used about 15 drops or so. Why lavender oil? It triggers hair growth. And I am trying to outgrow my hair for the wedding! Rosemary oil is also used for that exact same purpose. I will share a recipe that I use for my hair, a little modified from the one I read on www.livestrong.com. You will need one cup Apple Cider Vinegar, 30 drops of rosemary oil and cold water. I poured all the ingredients into a spray bottle (you can buy one or save one from a hair care treatment, or whatever you have that has a little sprayer on top) apple cider vinegar and rosemary oil first, and the rest of the bottle – filled with water. I use it every night on my roots. Spraying and rubbing in every night before bed! The mix works magically, love love love it! But the smell, oh the smell… Don’t worry it washes away just fine. Just remember – you have to do it religiously!

And finally Skin Care! I had a lot of skin problems. “My skin looks like @#$% !” was my usual expression. The problem is – I had both black heads and under skin acne or cysts. Those weren’t only ugly, but also extremely painful. The essential oils I used to treat my cysts in particular were – tea tree oil and rosemary oil. Rosemary worked better! Way better! I used Atlantic Cedar oil to treat blackheads. It worked alright, but I am not the fan of the smell!

Important Facts to Remember:

It’s important to remember never to use pure oil directly on your skin (I wouldn’t break this rule, but I have used pure Rosemary oil on my face, and the result was outstanding. I wouldn’t use pure oils on my scalp or along the hairline.)

– Make sure you close the bottles tightly, keep them away from direct sunlight, and heat.

– Be careful when you buy essential oils, they need to come in glass jars, not plastic bottles!

– Always read the instructions!

Twiggy Day

Let today be a Twiggy Day!

This is what I decided to do this Sunday morning, while doing the laundry!

Thinking about the icons of the fashion of the past – Twiggy comes to mind first. Maybe because of a recent UO (Urban Outfitters email newsletter. Yes, I am on the mailing list), or maybe because I’ve been doing all this research on the fashion of the past decades, I don’t know.But today is

TWIGGY DAY

These two pics were my inspiration:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These are the products I used:

And this is what I did to myself, all in the name of TWIGGY!

Honestly, this was a lot of fun! And girls love to play dress up anyways! I now def know who I’m going to be for next Halloween!

XOXO

Haircare Products that Worked for Me or My Hair History

Once, an old friend of mine said that he can tell what year it is by looking at a picture of me, because I had different hair every year, sometimes, every season.

I first got highlights for my HS graduation, and it has been going on ever since. I only grew out my natural hair color once, kept it for two months, hated it, and went back to highlights! After all the DIY DYE jobs, highlights from the box, and color enhancers, I decided to finally outgrow my natural hair color in the summer of 2009, and it only took me a little over a year!

Now throughout that year I tried all possible and impossible growth enhancer, store and home made hair treatments, gave up hair products containing SLS, and walked around Manhattan with what I believe to be the worst hair out there!

My other reason was – my wedding, I wanted to have great hair for the BIG DAY!

Now these are the products I have been using, that have done the job, this is what my hair looks like now!

My friend Brianna and me a couple weeks ago.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have tried the following homemade remedies:

-Honey water

-Olive oil

-Eating certain hair foods (avocados, a lot of vegetables, eggs, salmon, nuts)

I have also taken some hair vitamins, my advice – buy them on sale!

These are my fav hair care products to this day!

1. Burt’s Bees

I fell in love with these and got my fiance hooked on the shampoo and conditioner too. The scents are amazing, especially the Avocado mask! And there are 4 different kinds of shampoos for all different hair types. Now a lot of people complain that Burt’s Bees shampoo doesn’t lather up, it won’t give you as much foam as a regular SLS containing shampoo, but it will wash out all the grease and dirt in your hair. Do you know how to check if your hair is clean? It should squeak when you give it a little pull near the roots!

2. Whole Foods Brand Shampoo and Conditioner

I bought the big bottles of both for only $ 4.99 each! Personally I think this is an amazing alternative to Burt’s Bees, if you are trying to save, but still want to be nice to your hair. Of course I ran out of conditioner faster than shampoo, but it’s not a big deal, always happens! I used the Mint scented shampoo, because my hair is greasy, I have also tried lavender scented body lotion and citrus body wash. So far the citrus is the only one I wouldn’t try again. Again, the shampoo doesn’t lather up as well, but gets the job done!

3. Nature’s Gate Conditioner

I bought a 32 oz of this conditioner at     TJMaxx for $7.99, and couldn’t have been happier. It is for color treated hair, but worked just as fine on mine! Another advice on buying haircare products that are pricey – check out discount stores, they usually have a great selection on both Salon Brands, and Natural Products.

4. Say Yes to Carrots Mask

Smells great, feels great, the only thing is that I didn’t like as much – having to keep it in for about 12 minutes. I usually prefer hair treatments that need to be kept in for 5 minutes tops. I know that some of you might disagree, and I knew a girl who would deep condition her hair for an hour every other day. If you have that spare hour – do it, unfortunately I don’t.

5. Organix Instant Repair Treatment

I bought this one, because it was on sale. But the smell, oh the smell alone, I have never regretted this purchase again. It worked great, because this is a repair treatment, and I was using it when I have already outgrown my natural color, but had bleached ends. Now why didn’t I just cut the ends off? The hair cut would’ve been too short for me, and I always felt comfortable with longer hair!

6. This last one isn’t organic, and unfortunately contains SLS, but it really makes your hair shine!

I freecycled a giant bottle of Nexxus shampoo, and even though it contains SLS I feel comfortable using it on my hair now, because I feel like it has completely recovered and because I also believe in freecycling, and using something up instead of throwing it away. Now when you freecycle body and hair care products always check the expiration date! The last thing you want to do is ruin your hair even more!

And finally, I just wanted to show you what my hair looked like in the beginning!