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Peppermint Foot Scrub

peppermint foot scrub

Now that winter is here and our feet are mostly covered up, we may not be paying them the kind of attention they deserve. You never know when a loved one might surprise you with a foot rub on a cozy night by the fireplace, so here’s a recipe for a scrub that will make sure your feet are at their softest.  For this scrub, you will need: 1 cup coarse sugar (you could use brightly coloured red or green sugar crystals to lend a festive feel) ¼ c. avocado oil (or any mild carrier oil of your choice, such as olive or coconut) 5-10 drops of peppermint essential oil Combine the ingredients in a bowl, adding more or less oil, sugar, or fragrance to achieve…

Bianca’s Elixir No. 1.

lavender and essential oils

  My friend Bianca is from Romania. She is a concert pianist, a beautiful mother, and a talented dancer. Last week at ballet, when she hugged me hello, I smelled the most beautiful fragrance, as if she had just had an aromatic facial. When I asked her about it, she said that she makes her own fragrances so that she can enjoy a beauty ritual without the harsh chemicals. The following is Bianca’s Elixir No. 1. You will need: 1. One 3 oz. glass bottle 2. Frankincense essential oil 3. Lavender essential oil 4. Carrier oil, such as organic avocado oil In a three ounce glass bottle, mix five drops each of frankincense and lavender essential oil. Top off with a carrier oil, such as organic avocado oil. The aroma…

Pear and Vanilla Hair Masque

hair mask

Now that autumn is here, the air is more crisp. But we do not want our hair to be crisp; it should be soft and silky. For this hair masque, you will need: 1. One ripe, juicy pear, 2. One egg, and 3. ½ teaspoon pure organic vanilla extract. In a blender, puree the cored pear, then add the egg and vanilla and blend. Apply the mixture to your hair, carefully massaging from your scalp all the way down to the ends of your strands. Wrap your hair in a towel and wait about thirty minutes. Then, rinse with cold water, and follow up by washing your hair as you normally would, with shampoo and conditioner. The fruit acids and vitamins in the pear will brighten and renew…

Pumpkin Facial Scrub

Pumpkin scrub

In abundance this season, pumpkins are good for more than making jack-o-lanterns. Pumpkin flesh is rich in alpha hydroxy acids, which is a gentle exfoliator for your skin, packed with antioxidants, beta carotene, and vitamins A and C. All of these things combine to provide soothing and anti-inflammatory benefits to delicate, weather-stripped skin. While preparing your pumpkins for decoration, you can scoop out the flesh inside. I recommend steaming it for 10-12 minutes, until it is nice and soft and can be easily mashed. Or, you can simply purchase canned organic pumpkin puree, the kind you would use in recipes. Mix a half cup of pumpkin puree with a quarter cup of plain, unsweetened yogurt (I like Greek because of its thicker consistency, but any…

Brown Sugar and Pumpkin Pie Spice Lip Scrub

Brown Sugar and Pumpkin Pie Spice Lip Scrub

  Now that the weather has turned crisp and cool, our lips may not be quite as kissably soft as we would like them to be. It is important to stay on top of chapped lips, and to exfoliate and moisturize regularly so that our lips stay plump and healthy, especially in colder weather. For fall, I enjoy a brown sugar and pumpkin pie spice lip scrub. With few calories but all of the fully pleasing aroma, this lip scrub will work some autumn magic. You will need: 2 teaspoons brown sugar ½ teaspoon liquid honey 1 teaspoon light olive oil 1/8 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice Mixing bowl Small container In the mixing bowl, begin by combining the honey and olive oil. This combination provides…

Matcha Green Tea

Matcha Green Tea Powder at CHO

  My friend Mary was born in Japan. Everything about her is exotic, and she exudes natural beauty and good health. I asked her one day if she knows of any at-home beauty tricks that women in Japan use, and she said to me, “Nicole, it all begins with matcha.” Mary’s recommendation is to drink at least one full serving of matcha green tea powder per day, dissolved in hot water, as you would an instant coffee beverage. She swears that the potency and benefits of this daily beverage are unparalleled. Matcha tea is different from regular brewed green tea because matcha powder is composed of straight stoneground tea leaves. Drinking a single serving of matcha gives you the equivalent benefits of drinking ten cups…

Cuticle Treatment Oil

cuticle treatment oil

Cuticle Treatment Oil Whether or not you enjoy at-home manicures and pedicures, it is important for the overall health of your nails to perform regular upkeep so that your nails look clean, healthy, and strong. Eating a balanced diet contributes to growing healthy nails. Additionally, it is important to safely soften and push back the cuticles to maintain a healthy nailbed and to prepare our nails for polish. An easy DIY cuticle treatment is to apply extra virgin avocado oil all by itself, massage it into the cuticles, then gently push the cuticles back with an orange stick. Avocado oil is known to be among the most highly penetrative of the plant oils. It is a very good moisturizer, and it also has an antibacterial…

Radiate a Healthy Glow with this DIY Peach Facial Mask

DIY peach facial mask

Peaches are a wonderful gift from nature. During the summer months, we can enjoy them as a snack, for dessert, and of course as part of a DIY skin treatment. The best time to make this mask is when you have a lovely peach that is fully ripe and appropriately juicy; even a touch overripe will do. The key is that the peach needs to have an aroma when you sniff it, and the flesh needs to have flavor and depth. For this mask, you will need: 1 ripe, fresh peach ¾ cup plain, nonfat Greek yogurt ¼ c. whole oats 1 teaspoon raw honey ½ teaspoon organic vanilla extract Blend all the ingredients together. Apply about ¼ cup of the mixture to your face,…

Dessert for your Face

cherry facial mask

The fruit-growing season in Canada is short, and when summer comes I like to take advantage of what is fresh, available, and at its flavour peak. In late June and July, cherries are in abundance. They are rich red, mahogany even, and the plumpest, sweetest, juiciest fruits around. Cherries are magnificent. While cherries are delicious to eat, they also do wonders when applied topically to our skin. The following is a recipe for a chocolate cherry smoothie/mask, which I like to call “Dessert for Your Face”. You will benefit inside and out from this tasty, in-season natural beauty product. “Dessert for Your Face” 1 cup fresh pitted cherries ¾ cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt ¼ cup whole oats ¼ cup dark chocolate chips (70% cocoa…

Regaining my Inner Balance

regaining my inner balance

Regaining My Inner Balance Like most busy moms, I am constantly on the go. It takes a lot of work to pack up the kids and all their supplies for the day. However, I consider myself to be lucky as I can usually fit in some kind of “me” time on most days, such as gym time, tennis, lunch or coffee with a friend, or some quick shopping. Since the mornings are so busy, most days I am lucky to get a five-minute shower and quickly put on mascara and lip gloss before heading out the door. A typical day for me means that I can have either good hair, good makeup, or a good outfit: two out of three means I am meeting a…

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