Getting Healthy, Sweet, Sweet Sunday

April Essential Oil of the Month—Chamomile…The Why?

Chamomile, an aromatic herb, has been used throughout most of the world for many centuries and is one of the most ancient and versatile medicinal herbs known to mankind. The plant, with its white daisy like flowers and scent reminiscent of apples or pineapple, is native to Europe and western Asia.

  1. Stress and Anxiety...Chamomile is one the best medicinal herbs for helping to lower stress and anxiety because chamomile helps to increase the levels of serotonin and melatonin, two hormones that slow down your mind and eliminate the classic symptoms of stress and anxiety—such as hysteria, nightmares, insomnia, and various digestive problems. Drinking one or two cups of chamomile tea per day or inhaling chamomile essential oils through a diffuser are often recommended as natural remedies for stress, anxiety, and depression.
  2. Skin…Chamomile is often used topically on the skin to help fight skin irritation, heal wounds, treat skin conditions such as eczema, and lessen the appearance of blemishes and wrinkles on the face. Try this recipe for a “natural” Calamine lotion to treat mosquito bites during the summer…
  3. Sleep…Drinking a warm cup of non-caffeinated chamomile tea or diffusing it in the home diffuser can be a very powerful sleep aid, particularly for people who are struggling with restless sleep, insomnia, or other sleep disorders such as sleep apnea.
  4. Menstrual Discomfort…Chamomile tea is often used when dealing with the symptoms of menstruation—like PMS, bloating, cramping, sweating, inability to sleep, and mood swings. Chamomile tea is often also used in some parts of the world, such as Mexico, to soothe the body and mind and to relax abdominal muscles after giving birth.
  5. Immune SystemChamomile works as both an anti-histamine and an antioxidant, meaning that it can strengthen your body’s immune response to allergens in the body and soothe these allergic reactions before they become serious. The phenolic compounds in chamomile tea have been proven specifically good at fighting bacterial infections in the body, and that six glasses of chamomile tea consumed over a two-week timeframe can significantly improve the body’s ability to fight off  any infections.
  6. Gastrointestinal Issues...Chamomile has been used in many cultures for various stomach ailments—such as upset stomach, heartburn, nausea, vomiting, mild bloating, IBS symptoms, gas, acid reflux, indigestion, diarrhea, anorexia, and motion sickness.
  7. Diabetes…Chamomile helps lower blood sugar levels, regulate the amount of insulin in the blood, and prevent massive drops and spikes in blood sugar.
  8. Pain…Chamomile has been referred to as an “herbal aspirin” and has been a popular home remedy for centuries in reducing pain—especially pain associated with arthritis, injuries, back pain, fevers, and rheumatoid arthritis.



Getting Dressed, Sweet, Sweet Sunday

M&M’s List of the Best Vegan OTBC Body Lotions and Creams

We all know the importance of choosing skincare, hair care, cosmetics, and almost any other household product in terms of not only trying to “save the Rainforest”…

BUT does that mean that every product that we purchase from this moment forward will basically “suck” in comparison to every product that we have been using right up until that moment when you made the decision to embrace a cruelty free, vegan lifestyle?

Not necessarily…

As I begin doing my research and adopting a new lifestyle, I find that there are certain “terms and definitions” that I might need to be able to refer back to later. This is one of those posts that will hopefully beaded into one accumulating glossary.

Today’s “terms and definitions” list consists of ingredients to look for when choosing an OTBC product, particularly a OTBC vegan body lotion or cream…



1.  Alpha-Hydroxyl AcidAlpha hydroxyl acids are a group of natural acids that can be found naturally in specific foods, or manufactured synthetically. These acids include glycolic acid, sourced from sugar cane…lactic acid, from sour milk and tomato juice…malic acid, from apples…citric acid, from citrus fruits…and tartaric acid, from grapes. The most commonly used of these acids are glycolic acid and lactic acid because they most easily are absorbed by the skin.

Alpha-hydroxyl acids are quoted as providing amazing results as far as your skin is concerned—including making your skin firmer, stronger, and softer…while at the same time preventing wrinkles, softening wrinkles that already exist, stimulating collagen, treating acne, and improving the look and feel of your skin in general.

As far as aging is concerned, alpha hydroxy acids stimulate the growth of elastin and collagen, both of which become depleted with age, and studies have shown that they may also stimulate the production of skin-supporting collagen and elastin.

Most AHA-containing products sold over the counter usually have AHA concentrations that are below 10 percent, and are gentle as long as you follow the product’s directions.

Look for a product that has the AHA listed as the second or third ingredient. Better yet, check the label to see if the product states the concentration of active ingredients. If not, put that one down and look another similar product.

These products are generally safe when used on the skin, but like almost anything else may cause mild skin irritations, redness and flaking….(pretty much a disclaimer so that we can’t all sue them, right?!)…


2.  CeramidesCeramides are an oily wax found naturally in the cell membranes of our skin. The waxy or cheese-like coating on the skin of a newborn infant, also known as the vernix caseosa, that serves as a moisture barrier during pregnancy consists primarily of these ceramides.

As we age, our body stops producing as much ceramide, and our skin begins to lose many of the ceramides that had been existing before that point…resulting in our skin becoming thinner, dry, and more susceptible to dry skin and wrinkles.

Skincare products with ceramides help restore moisture, fortify the skin’s natural barrier, and help keep your skin youthful and soft. Most ceramides used in skin care products such as shampoos, shower gels, shaving creams, and body lotions. Even some products labeled “unscented” may contain


3. “Fragrances”…Although the FDA does require an accurate list of ingredients on each product marketed on a retail basis to consumers—whether in stores, on the Internet, or person-to-person…the Fair Packaging and Labeling Act allows manufacturers to protect the ingredients that might be considered “trade secrets.”

However these unknown “trade secrets” could be helping us all trade in our current good health and well-being–not just now, but many years down the road–for cancer, migraines, asthma, gastrointestinal troubles and cardiovascular problems…or even killing us if have particular allergies or sensitivities to certain ingredients.

The term “fragrance” has become a catch-all through which many manufacturers of skincare products can “sneak” an undisclosed ingredient into their container while nobody’s looking.

Even though our nation in general is in the process of becoming smarter, more environmental-friendly, and health conscientious, it will be a long time before companies will ever simply stop slapping the word “fragrance” on their containers

Always take the time to check the ingredient list carefully. Stop buying products that follow the trade norm of using the “F-word” on their ingredient list to conceal over a dozen secret undisclosed ingredients in the container.


4.  Humectants…Humectants help hydrate the surface of your skin by pulling water from the deeper levels of skin to the surface of the skin, and delivering hydration and nutrients to the deeper layers. Humectants can also increase the ability of a product’s other active ingredients to be absorbed into the skin.

Humectants are important ingredients in anti-aging skincare because they lock moisture onto the surface of the skin, keeping it moist and healthy and minimizing the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and sagging skin. Humectants also help keeping your skin looking and feeling smoother and softer and your complexion more youthful, supple, and radiant.

Look for products that contain such natural humectants as aloe, honey, hyaluronic acid, and vegetable glycerin.

5. Lanolin…Lanolin is the oil extracted from the wool of sheep after sheep have been sheared.  Lanolin enables nourishes and protects the sheep against environmental extremities.

While this may be considered an animal byproduct and therefore not cruelty free, the process does not actually harm the sheep and so can be considered cruelty free.

Lanolin is an excellent emollient that helps soften and soothe skin and resembles the sebaceous secretions of our own skin.

1.  100% Pure Whipped Body Butter

  • Fragrance Options…Coconut, Vanilla Bean, Blood Orange, Coconut Lime, Gingerade, Pink Grapefruit, Honey Almond, Mangosteen, French Lavender
  • Ingredients…anti-aging antioxidants and nutrients, vitamins, skin softening oils, and moisturizing cocoa and avocado butters
  • Kudos…no sulfates or other detergents, chemical preservatives, artificial fragrances, dyes or any other toxins.
  • Price…$26

2. Avalon Organics Hand & Body Lotion

  • Availability…Kroger, Sprouts, Whole Foods
  • Fragrance Options…Aloe, Peppermint, Lemon, Rosemary, Cucumber, Lavender
  • Ingredients…include such natural ingredients as aloe vera, shea butter, calendula and nutrient-rich beta-glucan…based on fragrance selected
  • Kudos…”Humbled by a profound respect for all living beings, Avalon Organics® products are vegan* and cruelty-free. The Avalon Organics® brand never tests products on animals, and will only source ingredients that the supplier can document are not tested on animals. This commitment to kindness is represented by the leaping bunny logo that appears on product labels.”
  • Price…$8

3.  Beauty Without Cruelty Hand + Body Lotion

  • Fragrance Options…fragrance-free
  • Ingredients…shea butter, jojoba, kukui nut, arnica, and calendula…
  • Price…$12

4.  Desert Essence Organics Hand & Body Lotion

  • Availability…Sprouts
  • Fragrance Options…Island Mango, Italian Lemon, Tropical Coconut, Coconut Lime, Bulgarian Lavender, Spicy Vanilla Chai, Pumpkin Spice
  • Ingredients…such ingredients asIsland Mango. Coconut Oil, Shea Butter and Jojoba Oil
  • Price…$10
Getting Dressed, Sweet, Sweet Sunday

Articles About Argan Oil…Argan Oil for Your Skin



Because of its high vitamin E and fatty acid content, argan oil is great to use both during the day as a daily moisturizer, or at night as an overnight cream. Argan oil also absorbs quickly into the skin without leaving an oily residue.

One method of using argan oil as a moisturizer is to simply add a couple of drops of argan oil to the carrier oil of your choice—coconut, olive, jojoba, sweet almond or sesame. (more on this to come later)…

Another option is to massage a drop of the oil directly onto any specific dry areas, such as your heels and elbows, to hydrate and soften the skin.


 Argan Oil and Acne…Argan oil can both prevent and treat acne.

Argan oil prevents acne and other skin breakouts by helping to control oil production. Argan oil provides natural moisture without being greasy.

Argan oil treats acne because the anti-oxidants found in Argan oil help to heal damaged skin cells and reduce inflammation.

To help clear up mild acne, simply apply one drop gently onto the affected areas twice a day.


2.  Argan Oil and Aging Skin…Argan oil is an ideal anti-aging serum because of the fact that is an antioxidant that helps to heal irritated or damaged skin. Argan oil leaves skin feeling plumper and softer and reduces the visibility of wrinkles by increasing the amount of collagen your skin consists of.


3.  Argan Oil and Dry Skin…Argan oil is great for skin that is flaky, irritated, cracked, damaged, or itchy…especially skin that suffers from such skin conditions as eczema. The Vitamin E and fatty acids that argan oil contains help not only to repair the damaged skin, but also to prevent further dryness and irritation. The antioxidants that argan oil contains help speed up the healing process.


4.  Argan Oil and Exfoliating…In a previous post, I talked about the importance of exfoliating your skin to help remove dead skin cells, reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and  give you a younger, fresher complexion.

Argan oil can be a great part of your exfoliating routine. Simple a couple of drops of argan oil with 1Tbsp of brown sugar. (The brown sugar helps the nutrients of the argan oil to be more readily absorbed into your skin.) Rub into your face in a circular motion for a couple of minutes, paying special attention to any acne-prone or dry areas. Rinse with warm water. Pat dry.


5.  Argan Oil and Feet…Argan oil can help treat cracked skin or your heels, fight foot viruses and fungi, and avoid bad foot odor.

To use argan oil on your feet, simply rub a couple of drops on your feet, paying special attention to the problem areas. Put on a pair of cozy socks. Leave the socks on overnight.



6. Argan Oil and Shaving…Argan oil can be used to soothe your skin after shaving…and could actually replace your  non-cruelty free shaving creams.


7. Argan Oil and Stretch Marks…The Vitamin E contained in Argan oil provides the ideal protection against unaightly stretch marks during pregnancy. To use Argan oil to prevent stretch marks, simply warm a couple of drops of Argan oil in the palms of your hands and then gently rub into your breasts, stomach, butt, hips, thighs and any other potential problem areas.

Getting Dressed, Sweet, Sweet Sunday

Now What?!

IMG_4860Once you have finished taking your shower, it is crucial that you take the time to “pamper” your skin and hair. the better and healthier both your skin and your hair will be.

Since a post-shower routine is so important in maintaining the health of your hair and skin, let’s talk about the things that you should take the time to do right after your shower…


 1.  Hair…It is important to take care of your hair while it is wet because this is when your hair is most likely to fall out.

The heat of the hair dryer can be a great enemy to the health of your hair. So let your hair air dry naturally if possible, at least partially…(more on this later)…

Comb a nourishing leave-in conditioner or detangler gently through your hair, using a wide-toothed comb…(never a brush)…


2.  Moisturizers…Warm water may be relaxing, but hot water and steam also leave your skin super dry after showering. For this reason, it is important to always apply a good moisturizer once you get out of the shower.


3.  Serums and Oils….Hot showers leave the pores of your skin open, so this is the best time to apply of these skincare products and solutions to allow them to be more completely absorbed.

Getting Dressed, Sweet, Sweet Sunday

Wrap Up Your Really, Really Relaxing Shower with a Really, Really Regal Bathrobe

IMG_4702-0Another important “me-time” luxury that you will want to have close at hand once you step out of the shower is a bathrobe that you could definitely live in…or do actually wish that you could live in…

So why not reward yourself with a bathrobe that will feel like a true indulgence and smart investment every single time you put it on.

Here are a few luxury bathrobes worth checking out..

1. Del Rossa Hooded Bathrobe

  • Colors Available…purple, black, chocolate brown, navy blue, steel gray, burgundy
  • Fabric…100% authentic Turkish cotton terry cloth
  • Price…$75

2.  L.L. Bean Terry Cloth Robe

  1. Colors Available…dark raspberry, dawn, pebble gray, white
  2. Fabric…Turkish terry cloth
  3. Price…$79

3.  Parachute Classic Bathrobe

  • Colors Available…white, stone
  • Fabric…100% long-staple Turkish cotton
  • Price…$99


    4.  Pottery Barn Faux Fur Bathrobe

    • Colors Available…Caramel Ombre
    • Fabric…100% plush polyester
    • Price…$129 (currently on sale for $103)


    5.  Restoration Hardware Sayon Silk Bathrobe

    • Colors Available…natural, gray, wine
    • Fabric…100% mulberry silk
    • Price…$165
    Getting Dressed

    Vegan OTBC Face Masks


    Face masks are a great addition to any skincare regimen. They can help keep your skin clear and healthy, and help you unwind after a long day.


    And doing a face mask while you are already in the shower is great because the steam from the shower opens your pores and allows the nutrients and vitamins to actually be absorbed into your skin much more easily.



    Key factors to consider when choosing a face mask include…

    1. Skin Type (best for)...People with oily skin should look for a mask that helps control oil and shine, while those with dry skin need a hydrating mask that will restore moisture to the skin.
    2. Specific Issue…such as acne, wrinkles, dry skin
    3. Time Commitment
    4. Type Mask…Masks can be found in several different types…such as vegan sheet masks, powder masks you can mix with water or your favorite skin serum, gel-like masks, and clay masks


    Some popular cruelty-free and vegan face masks that are available include..



    1. Acure Radically Rejuvenating Face Mask

    • Availability…Walgreen’s
    • Best for…aging skin
    • Ingredients…Moroccan red clay, marshmallow root extract, aloe vera
    • Price…$15
    • Specific Issue…cell repair
    • Time Commitment…10-15 minutes
    • Type Mask…clay



    2. AHAVA Purifying Dead Sea Mud Mask

      • Availability…Ulta, Macy’s
      • Best for…acne prone skin
      • Ingredients…Dead Sea mud, kaolin, vitamin B, chamomile
      • Price…$35
      • Specific Issue…helps clear acne and prevents further breakouts
      • Time Commitment…two minutes
      • Type Mask…mud



      3. Aubrey Organics Age-Defying Therapy AHA Mask

        • Availability…Amazon, iHerb, Vitacost
        • Best for…aging skin
        • Ingredients…sea buckthorn oil, natural fruit acids, rice spheres
        • Price…$15
        • Specific Issue…exfoliating
        • Time Commitment..5-10 minutes.
        • Type Mask…clay


        4. Camu Clay Invigorating Anti-Aging Clay Masque

        • Availability…Live Ultimate website
        • Best for…all skin types and needs, from acne control to hydration to anti-aging
        • Ingredients…organic green tea extract, bentonite clay, kaolin, walnut extracts, acai, Camu Camu berries
        • Price…$34
        • Specific Issue…exfoliating
        • Time Commitment…10-20 minutes
        • Type Mask…clay



           5. Dr. Alkatis Organic Universal Mask

            • Availability…online
            • Best for…acne-prone or sensitive skin
            • Ingredients…seaweed, vegetables, organic grass juice complex
            • Price…$39
            • Specific Issue…deep cleansing
            • Time Commitment…10-20 minutes
            • Type Mask…powder



            6. Lush Cup O’ Coffee Mask

              • Availability…online or Lush stores
              • Best for…oily or acne-prone skin
              • Ingredients…coffee grounds, cocoa extract, kaolin
              • Price…$12
              • Specific Issue…under-eye bags and circles, oil control
              • Time Commitment…15 minutes
              • Type Mask…scrub

              7. Pacifica Wake Up Beautiful Super Hydration Sleepover Mask

              • Availability…Target, Ulta
              • Best for…dry or sun damaged skin
              • Ingredients…sunflower oil, shea butter, avocado oil
              • Price…$15
              • Specific Issue…moisturizing
              • Time Commitment…overnight, does not require rinsing
              • Type Mask…leave-on
              Getting Dressed

              Vegan Face Mask Recipes


              Face masks are great for both winter weather—with its snow and hail, cold winds, and indoor heating systems—and summer weather—with the damage that may have been picked up from being out in the sun way too long.  They can also be great for many different skin issues, such as dry skin and acne breakouts.

              Below is a collection of simple face mask recipes that contain ingredients that you possibly already have on hand.


              1. Almond Oil1Tbsp lemon juice, 1Tbsp almond oil or coconut oil


              2.  Avocado…1/2 of a mashed ripe avocado, 2Tbsp honey

              • Benefits..extremely hydrating
              • Best for…all skin types, especially dry skin


              3. Banana…one mashed banana, 1Tbsp honey

              • Best for…dry skin


              4.  Chai...1Tbsp honey, 1/2tsp cinnamon, 1/2tsp cinnamon nutmeg

              • Benefits…gently exfoliates skin
              • Best for...oily or normal skin


              5.  Chamomile Tea…1C brewed chamomile tea1Tbsp manuka or raw honey, 1tsp nutritional yeast

              6.  Cinnamon...2Tbsp warmed honey, 1tsp cinnamon, 1 wedge of fresh lemon

              7.  Clay…bentonite or kaolin clay and enough water to make a paste

              8.  Cocoa…1Tbsp cocoa powder, one mashed quarter of avocado, 1Tbsp hone

              • Benefits…pore-refining and a great antioxidant


              9.  Coconut Oil...1Tbsp coconut oil, tea tree oil or lavender essential oil

              • Benefits…moisturizes, helps fight off any skin infections, helps to keep your skin clean and clear


              10.  Cucumber...1/2 of a cucumber, 1Tbsp honey, 1tsp or more bentonite or kaolin clay as needed to create a paste

              • Best for…especially oily or acne prone skin


              11.  Eggsan egg yolk, 1Tbsp of honey, 1Tbsp olive oil, 1/2C oatmeal

              • Benefits…egg white proteins tighten pores and zap acne-causing bacteria 
              • Best for…oily skin


              12.  Honey...1tsp honey, 1Tbsp natural yogurt

              • Benefitshealing and antibacterial, makes a perfect base for acne-fighting masks.
              • Best for…acne-prone skin
              • Note…True vegans can either substitute a little bit of pureed banana for the honey, or simply omit it.


              13.  Matcha...1tsp matcha, 1tsp chlorella, enough water or aloe water to create a paste

              • Benefits…”wakes up” the skin and gets your skin glowing


              14.  Nutritional Yeast…1tsp nutritional yeast, 1Tbsp organic yogurt

              • Benefits…great acne fighter, rich in vitamin B
              • Best for…acne-prone skin


              15.  Orange Juice…3Tbsp orange juice, 1/2C hone

              • Benefits…vitamin C, helps even out your skin tone


              16.  Papaya…2Tbsp honey, 1/2C mashed ripe papaya

              • Best for…those who have hyper-pigmentation, sun spots, and uneven pigment


              17.  Strawberries…3 strawberries, 1oz lemon juice, 8oz plain Greek yogurt, 1oz honey

              • Benefits…exfoliates and brightens the skin, refines pores, natural antioxidant
              • Best forall skin types


              18. Tomato…Blend half of a ripe tomato into a puree with a fourth of a cucumber

              • Benefits…contains silica which helps firm up sagging skin, improves complexion, soothes skin irritations, reduces puffiness, and balances skin pH
              • Best for…those wanting an even complexion and soft, smooth, flawless skin


              19.  Turmeric…2Tbsp flour, 1tsp turmeric, 8Tbsp milk or yogurt, a few drops of honey

              • Benefits...antioxidant that slows down skin cell damage, exfoliant that improves skin texture, diminishes wrinkles
              • Best for…acne, dry skin, psoriasis, eczema, and wrinkles


              20.  Yogurt….…1tsp plain organic yogurt, 1tsp honey, 1/2 ripe avocado, 2tsp olive oil

              • Benefits….yogurt contains lactic acid, an alpha hydroxy acid that dissolves dead skin cells, helps create a natural glow, prevents breakouts, and instantly softens and smoothes skin
              • Best for…dry skin, acne-prone skin
              Getting Dressed, Sweet, Sweet Sunday

              8 Best Cruelty-Free OTBC Facial Cleansers


              For those of us without the time initiative to make our own vegan cleansers, there are several OTBC (over the beauty counter) options available, such as…


              1,  100% PURE: Matcha Green Tea Cleansing Foam

              • Best for…those with oily and sensitive skin
              • Ingredients…aloe, rosewater, coconut oil, and so forth…
              • Price…$35


              2. Alba Botanica ACNEdote Deep Pore Wash

              • Availability…Target, Sprouts
              • Best for…skin that is prone to breakouts and blackheads,
              • Ingredients…ground walnut shell, oil-free salicylic acid, aloe, chamomile
              • Price…$7


              3.  Christina Moss Organic Face Wash

              • Best for…very sensitive Akin
              • Ingredients…coconut oil, olive oil, sunflower seed oil, aloe vera juice, shea butter, rosemary essential oil
              • Price…$23


              4.  Desert Essence Thoroughly Clean Face Wash

              • Availability…Sprouts
              • Best for…combination skin
              • Ingredients…castile soap, coconut oil, tea tree oil,….
              • Price…$10


              5.  Naturopathica Aloe Cleaning Gel

              • Best for…perfect for all skin types
              • Ingredients…over 50% aloe vera, coconut oil, lavender flower, rose oil
              • Price…$36


              6.  Pacifica Sea Foam Complete Face Wash

              • Availability…Target, Sprouts, Ulta
              • Best for…all skin types
              • Ingredients…sea algae extract, coconut water, papaya extracts
              • Price…$10


              7.  SW Basics Cleanser

              • Availability…Target
              • Best for…people with sensitive, acne-prone, and problem skin
              • Ingredients…rosewater, tea tree oil, vegetable glycerin
              • Price…$20


              8. Thesis Daily Harmony Face Wash

              • Availability…Whole Foods
              • Best for…those who struggle with very oily skin
              • Ingredients…lavender…aloe vera…tea tree, geranium, petitgrain, peppermint, and eucalyptus extracts
              • Price…$20
              Getting Dressed

              Vegan Face Wash Recipes


              Every woman, regardless of skin type should attempt to find the perfect facial cleanser—one that leaves her skin feeling clean and soft, combats the dirt and pollutants encountered during the day, does not cause skin irritation, gently cleanses skin without stripping it of beneficial oils, removes makeup, and prevents adult acne.

              Not only that, vegan women must also find a face wash that is 100% animal-friendly and cruelty-free.

              Fortunately there is a variety of options, including making your own cleanser or buying a cleanser from a known vegan  brand.

              One option in ensuring that the products that you use are cruelty-free and contains high-quality ingredients is to start creating such natural vegan skin care products yourself.

              Today let’s look at a few ingredients that can be used in vegan face wash washes, along with recipes for such vegan face washes.

              1.  Activated Charcoal

              • 1C coconut oil
              • 6 activated charcoal capsules
              • 2Tbsp baking soda
              • Essential oils (5 drops lavender, 6 drops rosemary)

              2.  Chamomile

              • 1/4C castile soap
              • 1/4C brewed chamomile tea
              • 3/4tsp olive oil
              • Essential oil (6 drops essential oil of choice)

              3.  Coconut Oil

              • 1Tbsp coconut oil
              • 1tsp honey
              • Essential oils (3 drops tea tree, 2 drops lavender)

              4.  Lemon

              • 1Tbsp yogurt
              • 1tsp lemon juice
              • Essential oil (lemon)

              5.  Sugar

              • 1C brown sugar
              • 1C melted coconut oil
              • Essential oils of choice

              6.  Tea Tree Oil

              • 1/4C castor oil
              • 1/2C grapeseed oil
              • 1/4C jojoba oil
              • 15 drops tea tree oil
              Getting Dressed

              Hostess with the Mostest…(looking the part)…Tools of the Trade


              Part of being the hostess of a bed and breakfast, or any other job, is looking the part…projecting an image that makes people interested in you and whatever it is that you are doing…

              So these next few posts are going to serve as a basic framework to build my professional image framework that will be tweaked in the days and months ahead as I learn more and understand what is expected in whatever changes my days hold in store…helping me to one day hopefully be…

              The Hostess with the Mostest

              Now that I’ve started upgrading my makeup collection, I want to be able to take better care of what I buy. Spending at least $35 for a foundation makes you think at least twice before having to replace it because it was somehow “contaminated.”

              After all, makeup that has not been taken care of properly can cause such gruesome things as breakouts, acne, pink eye, infections, the common cold, flu, cold sores, hepatitis…need I say more?

              And replacing the “better stuff” hurts alot more than replacing a $2 eyeliner that you can’t get to sharpen or $8 mascara that gets ooey and gooey.

              Treat your products with care and attention…and they will last longer and look healthier.


              1.  Hands…It may seem like common sense, but don’t bother cleaning anything if you don’t first wash your hands…it’s kinda pointless, right?!
              Washing your hands keeps you from transferring whatever bacteria may be having a field day on your hands…ever since you handed that Kleenex to the fat lady on the seat next to you in the plane or rummaged through library books that no telling who already touched…from being transferred to your face.

              Whether you prefer hand sanitizer or just soap and water, clean hands are the foundation of not only good makeup hygiene, but of a good life. 

              I always keep a medium hand sanitizer on my desk, in my kitchen, in my car, anywhere and everywhere else that I can think of…and one in every pocket of the outfit I am wearing and every section of my purse. That’s how obsessive-compulsive germophones function, right?!

              Anyway, moving onto your “stash”…


              2.  Lips…Some people freeze lipstick overnight to weaken and help get rid of any germs and bacteria. (The fact that you should let lipstick “thaw” a little before applying to your lips the next day probably could be go unsaid)..

              However, freezing only cripples the microorganisms to some degree without actually killing them.

              Instead, spray your lipstick once with a light mist of rubbing alcohol or use a cosmetic sanitizer wipe to remove the top layer.

              You would also be smart to use a lip brush perhaps.


              3.  Mascara…Mascara is one of the highest risk products as far as infections go. In order to avoid eye infections, consider using a disposable mascara spoolie instead of the wand that came with your mascara every single day and rubbing the same whatever-the-heck-that-was onto your eyelashes every single day.

              4.  Pencils…Sanitize makeup pencils by spritzing them with alcohol and sharpening each pencil after you’ve used it to shed the outer layer where the bacteria collect. Remember to clean your sharpener also.

              5.  Powders…(eyeshadow, powders, blush)…Powders do not harbor bacteria, and for this reason these products have the longest shelf life of all cosmetics.

              Once you are finished using the product, wipe the top layer off of your product with a tissue. Wiping down the first layer of your powder products removes any oil that has settled on the top of your product… meaning that the oil cannot collect on the product and produce harmful bacteria.

              Fill a small spray bottle with alcohol and mist the alcohol onto the surface of the powder to help remove bacteria and keep your products looking new. Just be careful that the alcohol does not compromise the texture of the product and allow the alcohol to evaporate from the product before putting the lid back on.

              Another option is Beauty So Clean, a cosmetic sanitizer mist whose main ingredient is alcohol.

              6.  Creams…Bacteria can form rapidly in any wet producr…so cream foundation, lipsticks, and blushes are all prime breeding ground for bacteria due to their dark, warm moist atmospheres. 

              Never dip a brush directly into cream makeup. Instead use a palette knife or disposable spatula to scoop these products out so that you will not contaminate your product’s container.


              7.  Brushes…Makeup brushes come into contact with your face on a daily basis and require proper cleaning to remove caked-on makeup, dirt, and bacteria…and to avoid infection, inflammation and irritation.

              Clean brushes last longer, stay softer, feel better on your face, and keep you from applying any extra makeup that has caked up on the bristles.

              High-quality brushes require special attention because the bristles may easily distort, curl, or become damaged. It is important to use a cleaner that gets rid of bacteria and dirt without damaging or altering the brush hairs. If your brushes are made of expensive natural fibers or hair, consider using a professional brush cleansing spray.

              After each use, lightly wipe your makeup brushes with an antibacterial wipe.

              Powder brushes, blush brushes, and foundation brushes should be cleaned once a week…eye shadow brushes, every other day.

              The longer you let bacteria and old makeup build up on your brushes, the more risk you’re exposing your skin to. The more regularly you disinfect your brushes, the quicker and easier they’ll be to clean and the safer they’ll be to use.


              8.  Tools…Clean tools…tweezers, scissors, sharpeners, spatulas, mixing palettes, eyelash curlers…with spritz of alcohol and a tissue.

              9.  Sharpeners…Soak sharpeners in hot water and some cleaner. Dry with a tissue. Use Q-tips to clean out any stuck sharpenings.

              10.  Eyelash Curlers…Use a lighter to remove the gunk of your eyelash curler. Light the lighter, gently put the fire into the curler for about five till ten seconds top. Clean the residue off the curler using tissue, and then you can clean your curler up thoroughly.


               11.  Sponges/Powder Puffs...Use liquid soap on your makeup sponge at least once each week to ensure that they are free from bacteria. Dip the sponge in water. Let soak for fifteen minutes.Be sure to get a nice lather and to clean it thoroughly. Rinse until it is completely clean. Let it dry. Squeeze any excess water out before putting it back into your makeup bag or organizer.

              12.  Beauty Blenders…Sanitize Beauty Blenders by running them through a wash cycle in the washing machine, or by soaking overnight in brush cleaner.


              13.  The Makeup Bag Itself...Finally, clean your makeup bag before putting your newly cleaned cosmetics and brushes back into it..

              Putting the brushes back without cleaning the bag re-contaminates the brushes before you’ve even zipped the case. The bacteria that the brushes may have picked up are still present in the case unless you clean and sanitize the bag also.

              Empty everything from your makeup bag. Flip the bag inside out. Gently use makeup remover wipes to clean the lining. Another option is to flip the bag inside out and simply wash the makeup bag in the washing machine along with your next load of dark-colored clothes.