How about some DIY Beauty??? Summer Pick for SMOOTH legs – COCONUT OIL!!!

The benefits of coconut oil  keep popping up in my reading, not only for cooking, but for skin care.  I added it to my shopping list this week and decided to try it with shaving first.  I haven’t used a chemical shaving gel in some time, and typically use a hair conditioner for shaving.  The conditioner actually works just fine, but with this summer heat, swimming, wearing dresses… I wanted my legs to look and feel a little smoother!

WOW – coconut oil!!!!

I felt the difference in the shave immediately.  My razor glided over my skin so easily, no razor bumps, and smooth moisturized skin, long after I was out of the shower!!

Why coconut oil??? Well, it’s free of harsh chemicals, moisturizes the skin well, and has the added benefits of antiseptic and antifungal properties.  Antiseptic fatty acids in coconut oil help to prevent fungal and bacterial infections in the skin when it is consumed and to some extent, when it is applied directly to the skin. Coconut oil contains at least 3 antioxidants: vitamin E, Phenol, & Phytosteroll.

Coconut oil made my skin soft, without feeling greasy.  I’m also looking forward to trying this coconut oil hair treatment:

  • Take a tablespoon of coconut oil and put it in your palm. In case of a white solid fat, you need to rub it with both palms until it melts into the oil.
  • Gently massage your hair with coconut oil (do it while your hair is dry).
  • Leave it for 30 minutes or more (better for 1 hour).
  • Then shampoo it as usual (follow with conditioner if you want).
  • Rinse it out.
  • 2 – 3x/week

Its best to look for USDA Organic coconut oils as they are not refined bleached or deodorized, and in this pure virgin form, it retains the health natural to coconuts including the medium chain fatty acids and the 50% lauric acid now recognized as highly beneficial. Prices: typically $12 for 15oz USDA organic coconut oil… but check your local speciality stores!!


What are  your experiences with coconut oil? 🙂


EcoTools® – Quality Make Up Brushes – Earth Friendly Beauty

New make up brushes have been on my shopping list for awhile now and I didn’t feel like braving the mall or the make up counter yesterday.  I remembered aesthetician, Holly Green recommending a product line called EcoTools®  at her holistic skin care talk… So, I stopped into a Walgreens and I was pleasantly surprised to find the EcoTools®  brand and pay under $15 for their Bamboo 6 piece brush set!!

Bamboo 6 Piece Brush Set  Image

Blush brush
Eye shading brush
Angled eyeliner brush
Concealer brush
Lash & Brow groomer
Hemp & cotton case

Ok, I was skeptical at first too, as I have been guilty of spending over $60 for a makeup brush in the past, but I had to try them out and I am so pleased!  The angled eyeliner brush was precise with its application, yet soft enough that it didn’t pull at the skin under my lashes. The other brushes not only felt nice while applying, but made the application of my blush, eyeshadow, and concealer look great too. 🙂

As I said, these brushes are incredibly soft and also 100% cruelty free.  The brushes are made out of bamboo, recycled aluminum ferrules, and synthetic taklon for the brushes bristles.  So what makes taklon better and what exactly is taklon???

Taklon is a synthetic material and unlike animal hair bristles, does not have a hair cuticle for makeup, dead skin cells, and other contaminants to build up on the bristles.  The hair cuticle allows bacteria to grow on your brushes making them unsanitary… Taklon has antibacterial properties, making it better for your skin.

1% of EcoTools annual sales are donated to 1% For The Planet®, an alliance of businesses committed to leveraging their resources to create a healthier planet.  EcoTools®  website is fun to navigate and offers beauty tips and tutorials, a link to their blog, and information on their collection which ranges from cosmetic brushes to eco conscious bath tools.  I am looking forward to trying more of their products!

You can also purchase  EcoTools®  products locally at  Norabloom Beauty Lounge located at 313 N. Tioga Street, Ithaca, NY 14850

Enjoy! 🙂

BEAUTY ON A BUDGET :) 3 Quick recipes for a DIY facial

Even though this winter has been mild, my skin still feels a bit dull, and I am feeling like I could use a refresher to get ready for the week ahead!!!

I love getting facials at the spa, but in a pinch and on a budget, this DIY Facial does the trick…


Here is the Facial Order:  Cleanse with your favorite facial cleanser, Exfoliate with the brown sugar facial scrub, Cleanse Pores with the DIY pore strips, Renew with the Nutmeg, Cinnamon, & Honey face mask, Moisturize with your favorite moisturizer!!!

** Note:  Test these recipes on your wrist or small area of skin before applying to assure that you do not have any adverse reactions.

**BROWN SUGAR SCRUB:  Brown sugar is a wonderful natural exfoliant that can be used for DIY face & body scrubs.
  • 1 Tablespoon of Brown Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of olive oil, grape seed oil, or extra virgin coconut oil (I found extra virgin coconut oil at the GreenStar Natural Foods Market in Ithaca, NY, link on Blogroll)

Preparation:  In a small bowl, add 1 Tablespoon of brown sugar, add 1 teaspoon of oil, and stir to create a paste.  Use paste to exfoliate skin in a gentle circular motion.  Rinse with warm water, press warm washcloth into face and remove any remaining scrub.

**DIY PORE STRIPS:  I love this recipe!  I use Biore pore strips on a regular basis, so this is a great budget friendly find instead of paying $8 – $14 for a box of strips.
  • 1 Tablespoon of Milk
  • 1 Tablespoon of Unflavored Gelatin
  • brush to apply paste (nice to have, but not necessary)

Preparation:  In a small, microwave safe bowl or mug, mix the milk and unflavored gelatin.  Heat in the microwave for 10 seconds, stir again.   Make sure the temperature of the paste is comfortable before applying to your skin.

Apply paste with face brush to nose, chin, forehead, or where ever you feel like your pores are clogged!! (I pick up inexpensive facial brushes at the Dollar Store for masks etc.).   Leave paste on for 10 – 15 minutes, then peal away!! Wash face with a warm washcloth.

**NUTMEG, CINNAMON, HONEY FACE MASK – this mask has been great for me all winter long and smells amazing!  This will probably be the last time I use it this winter as I will be ready for spring scents soon!  This recipe makes at least 2 masks, and stores well in a covered container.  
  • 2 Tablespoons of Honey (I’m using Wixson’s Fall Flower HoneyDundee, NY 14837 link on Blogroll)
  • 1 teaspoon of nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon

Preparation:  In a small bowl or container mix all 3 ingredients to form a paste.  Apply paste with a brush, avoiding eye area.  Let sit for 15 to 30 minutes.  Rinse off with warm water, press warm washcloth into face.  Moisturize with your favorite facial moisturizer!

Time:  You could have a good hour into the facial if you do all of the recipes, but you are home, so you can still do things while the mask and pore strips are setting! The Brown Sugar scrub takes just moments to mix and you will spend 1 – 3 minutes total exfoliating, rinsing.  The DIY pore strips, also moments to mix, 10 seconds in the micro, moments to mix and apply, 10 – 15 minutes on face, rinse again.  The mask, moments to make, 15 – 30 minutes on face, rinse, moisturize!!  Please let me know if you have any questions about the recipes or how to do the facial!  I hope you enjoy!

Have a great week everyone 🙂