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…Beauty

...Beauty

Zero Waste Shaving

April 5, 2016

As the sun starts to peek out and temperatures seem to be (very) gradually on the rise, thoughts start to turn to long hot summer days (we can but hope), and bare legs.
And for anyone like me who loves the excuse of a winter of long trousers to be perhaps a little less than rigorous in the depilation department, there can be no escaping the fact that a little Springtime grooming might be in order…

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...Beauty, ...Celebrations, ...Home, Slow Making

How to… Make Soap

March 21, 2016

As soap forms the basis of so many of the recipes for the homemade cleaning products that I want to share with you guys, I thought I should go over a basic soap recipe, in case anyone is keen to have a go! The more I read and learn about making soap, the more I realise how much there is to read and learn. I am only at the very tip of the iceberg, and although it’s actually a pleasingly simple process, there is quite a lot to take on board, so be warned, this is a bit of an epic post!

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...Beauty, General ramblings

Homemade Deodorant

February 26, 2013

….but I am going to try making my own deodorant…

Since starting on the Waste Watcher’s campaign, (you can read all about it here)  one of things I have been doing is looking at what I am buying with reference to the waste that will be left at the end.

So with food-it is a case of trying to buy things with less/no packaging, or packaging that can be recycled.

And the same thing applies across the board, even with things like toiletries.

Now, most things in plastic bottles can be recycled (we now have a blue lidded wheelie bin in Wiltshire for plastic bottles and cardboard) as can aerosol cans (they can go in our kerbside black box) BUT what about roll-on deodorants? I don’t think these can be recycled in Wiltshire (although I am happy to be corrected), indeed, I am not even sure if they can be recycled at all.

So I am on a mission to make my own deodorant…

Is this (yet again..) a step too far..? We shall see if I end up with a body odour problem and no friends…

At the Green Clean workshop that I ‘helped’ with recently, Emma from Wiltshire Wildlife Trust showed us how to make a version of a deodorant from Neal’s Yard Remedies ‘Recipes for Natural Beauty’. And I got to take it home to test it….

If I’m being really honest, it is not that great. I tried it straight out of the shower, and it was just about ok for a ‘low impact’ day with little in the way of physical exertion (!) but really didn’t cut the mustard when I upped the pace a little! So I have been using my normal roll-on when I get out of the shower, and then using this as a ‘top-up’ instead of my normal aerosol. And it is just about coping (I am aware I am making myself sound like some extreme stinky sweater-I am not really..) BUT I want to find an effective alternative to my roll-on.

So after consulting Pinterest (you can see my DIY beauty and toiletries board here) and consulting the good people of social media-world, I have a recipe to try…(I was posted this recipe on FB by a friend-thankyou Claire!, but also found more detailed instructions here on Passionate Homemaking)

This is what you need:

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  • 6-8 tbsps of coconut oil in it’s solid state-I got mine from Summer Naturals-1oog for £1, and I used about half of it here. It has made a tub that looks like it will last me several months
  • 1/4-1/2 cup of bicarbonate of soda-also available in bulk from Summer Naturals
  • 1/4 cup of cornflour
  • essential oils of your choice (I went with lemon and ta-tree oil-about 5 drops of lemon, and 3 of tea-tree)

This is what you do:

  • mush it all together with a fork until it comes together into a paste

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In the Passionate Homemaking post it says about scooping it into your old deodorant containers, but I have no idea how this would be achieved-anyone else have any clue?! Otherwise it suggests keeping it in a lidded container and using your fingers to apply a ‘light smear’. I was a little dubious about this, and had visions of big clumps of bicarb around my ‘pits and flaking off onto my clothes, but this stuff is like magic! The coconut oil must melt at body temperature, beacause as soon as you apply it, it just rubs in and disappears. A bit like deodorant..!!

I have now ‘road-tested’ it for a day or two, and….

…it works!

OK, so it wasn’t a massively smelly day-I didn’t go for a run or anything, but it more than stood up to a normal day’s activities.

Hubby very kindly (?) had a close up sniff of my arm-pit when I mentioned how pleased I was with it, and to quote him “I am getting a faint whiff..” (I think he means of BO) but then I am not sure he has ever had such a close encounter with my arm-pit after using ‘normal’ deodorant, so we have nothing to compare it to.

I am going to stop talking now, as I am aware that I may be coming as some stinky-pitted weirdo with an armpit sniffing hubby.

The things you do in pursuit of sustainable living…

(PS. Apologies if you have had this post twice-I pressed ‘publish’ instead of ‘schedule’ last night…!)

...Beauty, ...Celebrations, General ramblings

Christmas makes-Bath Bombs and the #Pinaddicts Challenge

December 7, 2012

You may be aware by now of my ever so teeny Pinterest addiction. To this end, I have been taking part in the #Pinaddicts Challenge for the last few months. You basically have a Pinterest board dedicated to the challenge that you can pin stuff to (my board is here), but the deal is that you have to actually stop pinning and start making, and once a month make something from the board, and then link up on their website here.

I have seen lots of posts for homemade bath bombs on Pinterest (I could lose days on Pinterest, in fact, I probably already have..) and thought they would make a nice little Christmas gift, so I decided to have a go myself.

First of all though, I had to order some supplies! I know I’m not supposed to be buying anything new, but I kind of figured that the ‘ingredients’ for this were a bit like ingredients for a food recipe, and I’m not sure I could make them myself (have I got away with that one..?!) I found all I needed on a website called Summer Naturals, which sells all sorts of ingredients for homemade and natural cleaning and beauty products. I think you could actually get most of what you need from your local chemists, although I was warned that they are a bit twitchy about selling citric acid, as I am reliably informed it is used by drug dealers…!

I had several ‘recipes’ pinned, so I picked out a couple that I had the ingredients for, and thought I would try both.

The first one I tried was this one from Garden Therapy. I halved the recipe, as I was trying out two different ones, and didn’t want to end up with 100’s!

This is what you need:

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  • 1 cup baking soda-I assume this is just the American name for bicarbonate of soda, that is what I used anyway, and it seemed to work!!
  • 1/2 cup citric acid
  • 100% pure witch hazel
  • Spray bottle
  • 10-15 drops of 100% pure essential oil-I had lemon and lavender, but use whatever floats your boat
  • the original post says natural colorant, but I used food colouring
  • plastic moulds-I used some ‘novelty shaped’ ice cube trays I found at a car boot, but you can use anything. I saw one post that suggested using a cut in half tennis ball-what a fab idea, but what a huge bath bomb!!

This is what you do:

  • In a big bowl, mix the baking soda and citric acid well
  • Add 1/2 tsp colouring and mix well. I only had the food colouring pastes, which didn’t work that well as it was hard to get it to evenly disperse. If you are using liquid ones, you should be fine. You can add as much as you want but remember that it may well stain the bath (and the bather) if you use loads…
  • Drip in the essential oil and mix with your hands
  • Using a spray bottle filled with witch hazel, spray the entire surface of the mixture lightly and scrunch up with your hands. Keep spraying lightly until it just holds it’s shape in your hands when you scrunch it (like making a snowball)

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  • Then quickly pack the mix into your moulds, pushing down hard
  • None of the recipes then tell you how long to leave the mix in the moulds for before turning out, which kind of implies you can do it straight away, but I was a bit scared, so I left mine a bit while I got on with recipe number 2. BUT I think I May have made my mix a bit too wet as they did ‘poof’ up a bit in the moulds and were slightly gelatinous when I turned them out-oops. They still work ok though-I know because BigSmall insisted on trying them….
  • These ones were supposed to be fish, which I thought would be pretty cool, swimming in the bath! But unfortunately all their tails fell off when I was trying to get them out of the moulds. But fortunately, they now look a bit like lemons! So that’s what I’m telling people they are…

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And these one’s are hearts, but slightly mis-shapen, and you can see some spots where the colour didn’t mix in that well!

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So all in all, not a resounding success…but I am still going to give them. Made with love and all that!!

So recipe number 2 was this one here from Rookie Mag.

Just to complicate things, this one needed some different ingredients…

This is what you need:

  • 1/2 cup baking soda/bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/4 cup citric acid
  • 1/4 cup epsom salts (you can use bigger quantities but obviously just keep the ratio the same)
  • Food colouring
  • About 10 drops of essential oil
  • Sunflower oil (or almond oil would work well too, but I didn’t have any)

This is what you do:

  • Mix the dry ingredients together well in a large bowl
  • Mix the food colouring with the essential oil and about 1 tbsp oil, and a ‘smidge’ (technical term) of water
  • Combine the wet and dry ingredients gradually, mixing well. If you do it in one big heap, it will all start to fizz. Not what you want. Again you want it to be scrunchy like a snowball, so you may have to add slightly more or less liquid to achieve this
  • Pack into your moulds
  • This mixture was much more crumbly, to the extent that it kept crumbling when I tried to remove them (I may have gone from one extreme to the other..) so I left them in their moulds overnight, and by the morning they had firmed up loads and came out nicely with only a couple of minor casualties!

I did these ones with lavender essential oil, so tried to make them a subtle purple colour by mixing red and blue food colouring, but it didn’t really mix that well. I did these in penguins (not sure why) and hearts. These ones definitely came out best.

Penguins..!

Penguins..!

If I was going to make more I would probably do the second recipe, although I think the 1st one would have been fine, it I hadn’t been so ‘trigger happy’ with the spray bottle!

I have packaged them up into some old jam jars, (from the two recipes above, I made enough to fill 3 medium sized jam jars, and some breakages!) and now all they need is some pretty labels, and they are good to go!

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