Au Naturel Essence

All natural treats for body and soul


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A Lesson in Lip Balm

I make a lot of lip balm.  It’s easy and the lip balms actually work.  How easy, you ask?

Really easy.

Making Lip Balm

First, get your ingredients ready.  You’ll need oil, some wax, and some butter if you feel like it.

Next, melt all of the ingredients together.  I do this in a pot on the stove on the lowest heat setting possible.  If I had a double boiler, I would use that instead.  It’s important not to overheat the ingredients or burn the oil.

Melting the ingredients

Melting the ingredients

Once everything is melted, take the liquid off the heat and add your essential oils.

Melted Ingredients

Melted Ingredients

Finally, pour your lip balms.  I use this fancy lip balm tray to hold all of the tubes steady.  As it turns out, I actually need help holding my hand steady as there is always some spillage.

Lip Balm Tube Filling Tray

Lip Balm Tube Filling Tray

Finally, let the balms set and cool.  It’s a bit like watching the kettle boil, so it’s best to find something else to do in the meantime.  When possible, I like to let mine set overnight.  Once they are ready, you can taken them out of the tray and pop the lids on each tube.

The Result?

Do these simple steps and you’ll have a homemade lip balm.  I like to call mine Lip Lube.

Here’s a shot of two tubes I just made up for a friend who was brave enough to try out my formula.

Lip Lube

Lip Lube

The Recipe

It took me a long time and many trials to come up with the recipe that I use.  I like it because it’s soft enough to be used in the cold winter months, but doesn’t melt in your purse or pocket in the hot summer months.  I just might end up selling these tubes of Lip Lube one day. So, for now, I’m opting to keep the recipe to myself.

If you’re looking for ideas, check out one of my favorite sites here.  It’s the Crunchy Betty site.  It’s full of ideas, recipes and tips.  It’s a great starting point!  Or, if you’re more adventurous, try a few combinations out on your own.  It might take a few tries, but I’m sure you’ll end up with a formula that works.  Either way, have fun!


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Gift Box of Goodies

A few weeks ago, we spent a long weekend visiting some friends.  We don’t get to see them very often, so it was a very special weekend.

I wanted to give them some treats as a gift.  I decided to make a bunch of different skin care products and then let them divide them up among themselves.

Their gift box included:

  • 1 jar of peppermint foot cream
  • 2 bottles of lotion
  • 3 jars of hand balm
  • 6 tubes of lip lube
  • And a whole bunch of soap!

I had so much fun putting everything together.  Here are some photos of the final product.

Gift Box!

Gift Box!

Gift Box of Goodies

Gift Box of Goodies

Skin Care Treats!

Skin Care Treats!

Lip Lube and Hand Balm

Lip Lube and Hand Balm

Hans Solo Soap

Hans Solo Soap

Fish Soap

Fish Soap

As you can see, I made some specialty soaps for this gift box.  The blue and purple fish and starfish soaps were specially made for our friends’ daughter.  Her favorite colours are blue and purple, so I thought these would be perfect.   And one of our friends is a Star Wars fan.  I thought he might appreciate the Hans Solo soap!


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Lip Lube, Please!

“I Love Your Lip Lube!”

I ran into a friend of the family some time ago.  Through the course of our conversation, she mentioned that she had a chance to try out the lip balm that I make.  She had received a tube of it from a mutual friend when I made a bunch of gift bags of lip care. More importantly, she said that she LOVED my lip balm and needed more!  Yippee!

Lip Scuff and Lip Lube

(Of course, I just smiled graciously and did the happy dance in my head, instead of doing it right there in front of her!)

“Can I Have Some More?”

She kindly asked me for some more.  Since we were standing in a group, all of the other girls were immediately interested and insisted that they not be left out and they get to try it out too. Yippee again!

“Of Course, Here’s Six More Tubes of Lip Lube!”

I came home and set to work.

I made 6 tubes of my Lip Lube for them.  They are set, labelled, and shrink wrapped.  Now, I’m putting it in the mail for these gals so that they can have great lips all summer long!

Lip Lube

“Thank You!”

As you can probably tell, I was so pleased when this happened.  It was a genuine compliment and request that was totally out of the blue.

Now, I want to be clear…I didn’t write this post to brag or show off.  Rather, I just want to be open about my excitement and share it with you all.  I’ve been lucky enough to receive requests for my skincare products before.  However, I rarely celebrate them with something as concrete as a blog post!  Being grateful and savoring the moment are two of the skills that I’ve worked on as a Happify Pioneer.  And if you’re wondering what a Happify Pioneer is, click here and check out my post on it!

Thank you!


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Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

This is one of my favorite times of year — full of good food, family get-togethers, and time spent with close friends.

This year, the holidays are extra special because we have a new family member, Emir.

For the past few years, I have made it my new custom to give handmade gifts to friends and family.  This year’s goodie bag was made back in November, as I waited for Emir’s arrival.

Here’s what it has in it!

Soap

There are at least two bars of soap.  Each bag has some combination of striped soap, floral soap or a solid bar of goat’s milk or coconut soap.  Each bar is mild enough for the skin and full of great ingredients.

Striped Soap

Striped Soap

Fancy Feet

Our feet all take such a beating. They deserve a treat.  Each gift bag has a jar of minty foot cream.  It’s thick and moisturizing and the scent is quite refreshing.  It’s a great treat for your feet!

Minty Foot Cream

Minty Foot Cream

Bath Bombs

I tried my hand at something new this year.  I made bath bombs!  As I suspected, it was actually quite easy and I have no idea why I never pursued this before. These provide fizzy fun for the bath and they smell great!

Lip Lube

What would a gift bag be without some homemade lip balm?  My lip balms are moisturizing and good for any season.  I added a variety of flavour oils to them this year.

The contents of each gift bag were meant to be used.  None of these products are good for a hoarder!

Wishing all of you a wonderful holiday season!


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Tag, You’re It – It’s This or That Beauty Tag!

Beauty Tag

Beauty Tag

Hope everyone is having a fabulous weekend!

Just before I went to bed last night, I saw that I’d been tagged in a fun beauty game by Tianna at StorybookApothecary.  I went to sleep thinking about all the great beauty tips everyone has to share through a fun game of tag, like this one!   

Thanks so much to Tianna at StorybookApothecary for thinking of me!

The Q&As are great and I encourage you to read both Tianna’s and D’s at SweetJellyBean (D. tagged Tianna yesterday!). You never know, you might read about the perfect beauty must-have product that you never knew about! 🙂

1. Blush Or Bronzer? Most days, I would go without both.  For special days, a little bit of blush is just what I need to brighten up my complexion.  I like a pressed blush.  I’ve found the cream blushes way too strong for my skin.

2. Lipstick or Lipgloss? For the most part, lipstick.  I almost never the house without a good dose of colour on my lips. My favorite right now is Halle by Jane Iredale.  In a bind, a tinted lip gloss can stand in for my trusty lipstick.  However, I’m definitely not a fan of the sticky glosses that you tend to find out there.  I’ve started making my own glosses, but have yet to perfect the recipe…

3. Chapstick or Lip Butter? Lip Butter!  I make my own and I would never turn back.  It’s so easy to combine a few oils a bit of wax to make the perfect lip butter for yourself.  Once I learned how to make my own, I got rid of all my store-bought lip moisturizers.

4. Matte or Sparkle Eyeshadow? Matte eyeshadow for me.  I like to keep my makeup fairly low-key and matte colours do the trick for me in that department.  If I’ve got a special occasion to attend, on the other hand, I wouldn’t put it past me to whip out a little bit of sparkle!

5. Gel, Liquid, Cream or Pencil Liner? I tend to stick to the basics when it comes to eye liner.  I’m just not skilled enough to use the liquid or gel liners!  Pencils work for me!  I just started using a new powdered eyeliner from Jane Iredale.  It’s definitely a bit more challenging to apply than a regular pencil, but I love the different effects you can get with it!

6. Foundation or Concealer? I use concealer daily.  Right up there with my lipstick, I don’t leave the house without it.  I just dab a bit on under my eyes to even out my skin and it does the trick.  Right now, I’m using a concealer from Jane Iredale (can you tell I LOVE her line of makeup?!) and it blends really well into my skin without looking flaky.

7. Liquid or Powder Foundation? I used to use powder religiously.  However, after I made the switch to safer makeup products, I found that I could go with out.  You won’t find any foundation or powder in my makeup bag now!

8. Neutral or Statement Eye? I love the smoky eye look.  It’s my favorite, by far.  Even so, I tend to stick with the low-key smoky eye, even for special occasions.  It lets me stick to what I know!

9. Pressed or Loose Shadows? I like the pressed shadows.  They are less messy and easier to apply.  I always find I use way too much product with a loose shadow!

10. Waterproof or Non-Waterproof? I stay away from waterproof and try my best not to cry!

11. Brushes, Sponges or Fingers? Fingers.  I have the best control of the makeup (read: concealer) I’m patting on when I use my hands.  A brush or sponge just confuses the whole process for me!

12. Powder, Cream or Liquid Highlighters? I’ve never actually used a highlighter!  Can you believe it?  I guess I’ll have to experiment with it one day and let you all know how it goes!

♥ Spill your beauty secrets! (Additional Q for you by D (Sweetjellybean.com)♥

Can’t Live Without Skincare Product?

So hard to choose!  I really depend on my lip scuff.  It’s another homemade product of mine that I use day and night.  It keeps my lips soft and supple, avoiding any dry skin whatsoever.  When I’m running low, it’s a bit of a crisis in my house!

Favorite Makeup Blusher?

Can you guess?  I’m in  love with Jane Iredale products these days!  And that goes for the pressed blush too!

Take-it-with-me-always beauty product?

My lipstick.  The colour is Halle by Jane Iredale.  It goes with me all the time.  The lipstick feels great on my lips…it’s moisturizing and it isn’t sticky!  What more could you ask for?

Bonus Question from Tianna @StorybookApothecary!

What Is One Beauty Item You’re Willing To Splurge On Even Though It’s Expensive?

Having just started using the Nourish Face Oil from Suti, I think I might be hooked!  I absolutely love the scent and the texture of this oil blend.  I’d have a hard time justifying buying it since I regularly make my own face oil.  On the other hand, my oil just isn’t as luxurious as this one!  Stay tuned for a post on my Suti stash soon!

Bonus Question from Alia @AuNaturelEssence!

What is the one beauty product you could do without for a week?  If you absolutely had to give one thing up, what would it be?

This is a tough one for me.  I’ve really paired down my makeup routine to the bare basics, so it’s hard to know what I could do without.  Perhaps it’s my mascara.  I do love the volume it gives to my lashes.  However, if forced to make a sacrifice, I think I could live without it!

And Now, It’s Time for Tag-sies!

Related Articles:

Beauty Confessions – This or That Tag – You’re It!

Something Fun: This or That, Beauty Tag – You’re It!

Tag: This or That!


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Special Edition: Round ‘Em Up with Cool Bloggers!

SweetJellyBean.com: Beauty, Blog Tweaks

Hello November! Or New-vember for this blog, I’d say. This blog will be going through some major changes and improvement that I’m hoping I’ll be sticking forever! Kind of. Just a heads up, although I’ll be posting on a topic on this separately as well.
For now, let’s take a look into what I call ‘special edition’ Round ‘Em Up post! I know this should have been yesterday’s post but I completely did not realize that it was the end of the month already! I was not on this plane yesterday,  apparently.
This is a special edition because, instead of my own posts monthly round up, I decided to actually get a few of my cool blogger friends involved and get their post featured here! Why? So you can browse around and perhaps find more blogs to follow, of course!
So let’s peruse this post and see these bloggers most…

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The Benefits of Coconut Oil

Coconut Oil has become a staple in my daily routine, both for cooking and for my homemade skin care products.

Benefits of Coconut Oil

Coconut oil has a high percentage of lauric acid.  According to Organic Facts.net,

The human body converts lauric acid into monolaurin which is claimed to help in dealing with viruses and bacteria causing diseases such as herpes, influenza, cytomegalovirus, and even HIV. It helps in fighting harmful bacteria such as listeria monocytogenes and heliobacter pylori, and harmful protozoa such as giardia lamblia.

Coconut Oil has been touted as being helpful when dealing with diabetes, weight loss, bone and dental health, high blood pressure, and heart diseases.

Is it really a saturated fat?

Yes, coconut oil is a saturated fat!  And, contrary to what we’ve been told for years, it can be good for you.  The saturated fat in coconut oil is natural and is responsible, in part, for many of the health benefits listed above.

There are lots of blog posts on the benefits of coconut oil.  Here a few that I’ve managed to see in recent weeks.

BiosilBaums Natural FoodsPounds and Prints

Uses for Coconut Oil

I use coconut oil primarily when I’m cooking.  It’s great for pan-frying and roasting as it can take high heat levels, without turning rancid.  I also love the aroma of coconut in my kitchen as soon as I start heating the oil.  Depending on what I’m cooking, I can detect a sweet coconut flavour in my food when I cook with coconut oil.

I also use coconut oil in many of my homemade skin care products, including my liquid soap, soaps, and lotion.  This oil is nourishing and adds a lot of moisture to each of these products.  It’s also great to add to a moisturizing face mask.

Most recently, I started using coconut oil as a hair mask.  When I’m in a rush and don’t have time to prepare something more elaborate, coconut oil is a great stand-by product.  Even with my thick hair, I don’t have to use a lot of coconut oil to give my scalp some deep moisturization.

If nothing else, coconut oil makes a great moisturizer for your skin.  It can be used on its own to help hydrate your skin.    Coconut oil is safe enough to use on baby’s skin too.   If you do this, use it sparingly.  A little goes a long way!

 

Are you using coconut oil in your daily routine?  If yes, how do you use it?