Elegantly Eco

Eco-Friendly Beauty, Fashion, Reviews, and Info


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DIY Toothpaste

DIY Toothpaste

I’ve started DIYing things that I use very often. One of those is toothpaste. I ‘ve tried and liked Earthpaste so I thought why not make my own version? It would be a lot cheaper than buying it all the time. I found this recipe from Overthrow Martha and modified to my needs. For those living in an old house or a house with small pipes you may want to decrease the amount of bentonite clay and increase the baking soda. I’ve had reports that bentonite clay can clog pipes but I personally have never had a problem with the clay. I have omitted the salt from this recipe because I find the baking soda salty enough. Although dead sea salt is supposedly good for teeth because of its mineral content.

Ingredients:

1.5 tbsp Bentonite Clay
2 tbsp Distilled water or aloe Vera juice
1 tbsp coconut oil
5 to 10 drops of essential oil like peppermint, wintergreen mint, clove, holy basil,rosemary, sage (optional)
A container (mason jar or a squeeze bottle)

Options: If you get clogged pipes from the bentonite clay you can use this ratio below and keep the rest of the ingredients the same.
1 tbsp baking soda & 1 tsp bentonite clay

Instructions:

Put the clay, coconut oil, and baking soda (if using) in a bowl and blend with water. Add the essential oils you like. Clove is good for getting rid of strong flavours like garlic breath. Keeps for several months in a container.

Using this toothpaste along with oil pulling helped me decrease the amount of plaque on my teeth. At least that’s what my dentist told me. I didn’t tell her that I was making my own toothpaste and oil pulling however. I’ve found some conventional dentists can be opposed to ideas like that.

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DIY: Cookie Dough Balls

One of my favourite recipes from the Earth Diet book is the Cookie Dough Balls. I’m a real snacker. I eat my main meals but often get hungry in between meals as well. I have a sweet tooth so it’s important for me to find healthy, filling, snacks that also address my sweet tooth. These Cookie Dough Balls are perfect small snacks and can add variety to the other snacks I normally bring with me which is a piece of fruit like apples, bananas, and pears.

Ingredients:

Makes 12 balls

1 cup of rolled oats (gluten free)
1 cup of cashews
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract or 1 vanilla bean
2 teaspoons of honey or maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon of Himalayan salt
2 tablespoons of cacao nibs (will be the ‘chocolate chips’)

Action:
1. Blend the cashews and oats in a food processor so it makes a ‘flour meal’ consistency.
2. In a bowl add this blend, along with the vanilla, salt and honey and stir. Once all mixed add the cacao nibs and stir.
3. Taste and add water if needed, or more honey if you like it sweeter. It should be a cookie dough consistency.
4. Roll the mixture into balls. I like to use an ice cream scooper with the lever to ensure they are all the same size (see below)
6. Eat and enjoy. Store in the fridge.

See full recipe on the Earth Diet website or book.


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This basic recipe is so easy to modify. I’ve experimented with using butterscotch chips instead of using cacao nibs. Most recently I made a batch with maca powder, vegan protein powder, dates, and goji berries (see below). They turned out really delicious! If you have a nut allergy you can also substitute the cashews for medjool dates. You may have to eliminate the maple syrup/honey and add more oats since dates are already quite sticky and sweet.

Do you have a sweet tooth too?


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DIY: Chia Pudding

Chia pudding is getting really popular in the healthy eating community these days. It makes sense if you think about it. It’s easy and fast to make and lasts in the fridge for a good amount of time. I like to make this in a batch big enough to last me for a week. I stir all the ingredients together and leave it to soak overnight so that in the morning I just need to put it in my container with the desired toppings and then go.

Ingredients:

½ cup chia seeds

2 cups unsweetened non-dairy milk (almond, hazelnut, coconut, hempseed, etc.)

3 tablespoons of honey, coconut nectar, maple syrup or other sweetener of your choice

1 teaspoon vanilla extract or ground vanilla

Serves 10

Directions:

Soak chia seeds in non-dairy milk for at least one hour. It can also be soaked in the fridge overnight. Then mix it in with the soaked chia seeds. When you’re ready to eat it, place the topping of your choice. Some suggestions would be: nuts, seeds, raisins, goji berries, etc. This can also be eaten as a breakfast pudding or in place of oatmeal. Keeps in the fridge for one week.

Modified from: Oh She Glows


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Book Review: Babushka’s Beauty Secrets by @RaisaRuder and Susan Campos


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About the Author:

Raisa Ruder doesn’t seem to have a professional website so I’ve had to take excerpts from different book sites for more information about her & her co-author Susan Campos.

“Raisa Ruder was a registered nurse in her native Ukraine when she decided to move to the United States fifteen years ago. For seven years she worked at the famed Anastasia salon doing eyebrows and facials until opening her own West Hollywood salon in 2005. She noticed the large amount of preservatives in American products and decided to introduce her Babushka’s old world beauty recipes in her salon. She quickly became LA’s go-to-girl. Her clients include: Madonna,Tyra Banks, Molly Simms, Ali Larter, Nicolette Sheridan and others.

Susan Campos is a broadcast and print journalist. She is a former anchor for the national weekend edition of Today. She’s reported for Dateline and hosted numerous entertainment shows on MSNBC. She currently writes trend stories on beauty for The New York Times’ “Styles” section and its T Magazine, and is a contributing editor for Radar Magazine. – See more at: http://www.hachettebookgroup.com/authors/raisa-ruder/#about

Excerpt from Hatchett Book Group

“Esthetician to the stars Raisa Ruder learned her time-tested beauty techniques from her Ukrainian grandmother (or babushka, as they say in the old country). Now everyone can discover the all-natural, better-than-botox secrets the Hollywood stars use to shine on the red carpet! Ruder reveals her sought-after beauty recipes that can fight wrinkles, plump lips, and eliminate crow”s feet and acne, using inexpensive, everyday grocery items like eggs, honey, vegetable oil and strawberries (and a splash of vodka for freshness!). At last, by popular demand, Raisa Ruder opens up her babushka”s secret pantry and shares her most amazing and effective beauty advice.”

Excerpt from Chapters Indigo

Book Review:

I like that this book starts with an introduction to Ruder’s story and relationship with her grandmother (babushka in Ukranian). The chapter two then deals with what tools and ingredients you must have to try the recipes. These are all basic tools that most people have in their kitchen as well as basic ingredients. Who knew that potatoes had so many DIY uses? Not me. The third chapter is all about how to set up your own at home spa. Then chapters four through fourteen deal with the recipes. Along the way Ruder gives tips and mini stories about her babushka. The last chapter is babushka’s wisdom. There are a lot of good recipes in this book which I’m definitely going to try. Most of the recipes are for immediate use but where applicable Ruder gives storage instructions. The one thing I didn’t like is that some of her recipes recommend using petroleum jelly. For those who aren’t aware, petroleum jelly is made from a mixture of hydrocarbons (crude oil) and impurities in the processing of petroleum jelly have been linked to cancer. It’s very strange to me that she would recommend all these natural recipes and then use petroleum jelly as well! Anyway, there is a lot of advice in this DIY book besides the recipes. Most of it is common sense such as don’t smoke , drink to excess, always take off your makeup when you get home for the night, don’t take hot showers, etc. There are no pictures in the book just cute illustrations drawn by Mona Shafer Edwards. I actually borrowed this book from the library as I saw this in the book store but wasn’t sure if I wanted to buy it. I’m glad I didn’t buy it after all. Although most of the recipes are pretty simple and use everyday ingredients the book gave me a vibe that I didn’t like. I felt like the book emphasized shallow beauty ideals. Ruder is always talking about her famous clients and how her treatments make them look red carpet ready. Maybe it’s just me but I was wishing she talked more about nourishing the skin from the inside rather than using topical treatments to look better.

Rating: 3/5


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DIY: Balancing Facial Oil

I’ve been on a real DIY streak lately. I guess it’s because at this point in my life I’m finding that simple is better. My most recent DIY venture is making my own balancing facial oil specifically for my acne prone sensitive skin. I took a look at Osmia Organic’s ingredients list for their spot treatment for some guidance and came up with this facial oil that suits my skin’s needs perfectly. I just made this facial oil on the fly so keep in mind you may need to adjust ingredients according to your own skin type. Jojoba oil and avocado oil are both oils with stellar hydrating properties. As for the essential oils, they all have some very interesting therapeutic and aromatherapy properties that I could talk about all day long. Tea tree is antimicrobial and antifungal, as well as being effective for stimulating the immune system. Cypress is astringent, antiseptic, and works well to soothe and calm the nerves. Thyme is cleansing, purifying and aids memory and concentration. Rosemary is also astringent and great for clearing the mind and improving mental awareness.

Ingredients:

¼ cup jojoba oil
¼ cup avocado oil
2 drops tea tree essential oil
2 drops cypress essential oil
2 drops thyme essential oil
2 drops rosemary essential oil

Instructions:
Combine the oils and essential oils in a glass bottle and store in a cool, dry place for up to a month. Essential oils are very potent. If you have very sensitive skin you should probably start with just one drop of each oil (or even cut down the number of essential oils you use) and do a patch test to see if you develop a reaction. I put my oils in a glass bottle with pump top for easy dispensing.

Below is a picture of what the oils actually look like after being combined. I like to use this oil on my face after removing make up and then spritzing with toner. If I need more hydration after that, I will add a layer of moisturizer once my skin has absorbed the oil. If I have blemishes I spot treat them with a DIY blemish treatment where needed.

There you have it, my first DIY facial oil that I made without following a recipe! It’s been working wonders for my skin so far. My skin has been very balanced and hydrated lately. When I do get blemishes, they are small and disappear quickly without my having to do too much to them.

Have you ever tried making your own facial oil?


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DIY: At Home Microdermabrasion Recipe

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I mentioned before in my book review of Annie Strole’s Homemade Beauty recipes that her Microdermabrasion recipe is currently my fave. Here it is for all you sufferers of winter dry skin! This is a super gentle receipe that helped me get rid of my flakey dry skin this winter. Make sure you cleanse your face really well beforehand, and hydrate your face afterwards to lock in moisture.

Ingredients:

2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp water

1/2 tsp lemon juice

5 drops lavender essential oil (optional)

Instructions:

Mix all ingredients and apply to your face. The lemon will fizz up a little when you add it to the baking soda. This is normal. Massage gently on your skin for 2-5 minutes. Rinse with warm water and pat dry.

Storage:

Keep in airtight container for a couple days if wet ingredients are mixed in already.

I like to use this scrub in the shower as I find it easier to wash off the baking soda more completely. The first time I tried this recipe I did it over the sink and made a bit of a mess on the countertop. If you’re pressed for time you can even make this the night before your morning shower, which is what I do. It will keep just fine in the shower for a couple days if you use an airtight container. But don’t keep it any longer than that, due to the lack of preservatives.


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Book Review: Homemade Beauty by Annie Strole


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About the Author:

Annie Strole is a Brooklyn-based makeup artist, natural beauty expert, and contributing editor for style, beauty, and DIY site, Lovelyish.com. A lifelong luxury beauty product junkie and hippie-at-heart, Annie eventually began researching the ingredients of her beloved beauty potions out of curiosity. Not pleased with her findings of the effects of some particularly nasty ingredients, Annie decided to take her beauty into her own hands by creating effective, all-natural beauty products at home using the freshest ingredients possible. She shares 150 of these recipes in her new release Homemade Beauty: 150 Simple Beauty Recipes Made from All-Natural Ingredients, out November 4, 2014.
from MindBodyGreen.com

Book Review:

This is a pretty simple book of homemade beauty recipes. The ingredients list for most of these recipes are never longer than 8 items. Most are 4 ingredients or less. Also most of the ingredients on the list are commonly used in the kitchen or household. There are of course some specialized ingredients like essential oils, or zinc oxide for sunscreen. But these are easily found at natural food stores online or at retail stores.

I’ve tried some of these recipes and so far my fave is the microdermabrasion recipe. Why microdermabrasion? At the time I’m writing this it’s winter, and my skin has dry, flakey patches on it. So this recipe is amazing at helping to get rid of those dry flakey patches without irritating my skin too much. Also, if you go to the spa to get microdermabrasion done it’s quite expensive, time consuming and you could walk out the door with a red face. Who wants to walk about the city looking like they got a bad sunburn? Not me. With this recipe I can do a less abrasive version of microdermabrasion from the comfort of my home. Plus I don’t need healing time as this version is so much more gentle.

The only thing I don’t like about this book is that Strole doesn’t talk much about how long each recipe will keep. Since none of these products have preservatives, they could go bad easily. While most of the recipes are easy to make on the spot, sometimes it’s nice to make things ahead of time and use when needed. I don’t always have time to do DIY on the spot and I’m sure busy mothers would have the same problem. Strole also doesn’t give any storage advice e.g. store in cool, dry place. I think that would be helpful for those who are newbies to DIY. Besides the recipes, you will also find throughout the book a pageor two devoted to an ingredient spotlight, telling us the properties for each and what it’s good for. I liked the ingredient spotlight and found it interesting.

Overall, this is a fairly good, if simple DIY book. This book is good for those who are beginners at DIY or those who like to keep things simple. For more elaborate or challenging recipes I would recommend The Green Beauty Guide by Julie Gabriel.

Rating: 4/5