Friday, December 21, 2012

Natural Beauty Made With Love

As we scramble to get out last minute gifts and surprises for loved ones, take a minute, and think how much more special a handmade gift can be.  I am a self-proclaimed product junkie and I love natural products.  I have so many friends and family members that feel the same way.  I, like most people, have a budget.  I decided that this year, I was going to make some homemade beauty products for loved ones.

My partner-in-crime has been A Green Guide to Natural Beauty by Karen Gilbert.

Packed with pampering recipes to create your own beauty essentials for face, body and hair. Most of us use a huge variety of beauty products on our skin and hair every day - from shower gel and shampoo to moisturiser and hand cream - but the majority of these products contain a variety of chemicals. In A Green Guide to Natural Beauty, natural skincare and fragrance expert Karen Gilbert shows you how to make your own lotions and potions at home, using easy-to-obtain, natural ingredients and easy-to-follow methods. For the face, there are moisturizers, face masks and cleansers; for the body choose from scrubs and shower gels, soaps and body lotions. And when you need some extra-special pampering, try the recipes for lip balms, massage bars, bath oils and eye gels. So try your hand at making a neroli hydrating spritz or a jojoba and aloe vera moisturizer, a mango and lime body butter or lemon and tea tree foot balm, bergamot and grapefruit wake-up wash or cocoa butter lip balm - the hardest part is choosing which of the pampering projects to try first! Each recipe has clear step-by-step photographs to guide you, and there are numerous variations to try.

I loved that Gilbert gave options at the end of the book for e-retailers so I could get the products for great prices.  I decided to make the Barbados-ready Body Scrub with my own twist.  I brought in a holiday theme and instead of citrus oils, I used peppermint oils.   It really is so natural and smells good enough to eat.  For those who love to lounge in the bath, we made Lavender & Clary Sage Bath Fizzes and Herbal Bath Bags. Incidentally, the Herbal Bath Bags are great for babies too.  We filled them with oats and lavender (perfect for making skin extra-soft, and super-gentle).

Get into the kitchen and get creative.  Make some treats for your loved ones that will help them to naturally enjoy the holidays.

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