So I’ve been hunkering down in my lab for the the past week working on my skin treats.
¿Qué? Lab? Skin treats? Huh?!
Relax! Let me explain!
Now, if you’ve been following my blog, then you already know that I’m a huge fan of more higher-end, skincare-specialist-oriented skincare and makeup. It works for me. However, I’ll be the first to admit that it’s not the cheapest…or (admittedly) most practical of habits. So I circumvent the cost of these products by making certain products myself. This measure allows me to be more selective about the ingredients that I use, and it’s quite cost-effective in the long run because I can make large batches which will last me for a VERY long time.
Here’s a list of products that I make myself, as well as some examples of the ingredients that I often use to make them. I tend to stick to these types of products because they’re so easy to make, and you can never get them wrong.
- Detoxifying clay masks-Listen, I live in Brooklyn and I work in the Union Square area, so my skin is exposed to pollution on a daily basis. Therefore, a clay mask is necessary. I use them 1-2 times per week. I tend to mix clays such as kaolin, red clay, and montmorillonite with activated charcoal, probiotic powder, and fermented rice water infused with detoxing/brightening herbs. This mix keeps my skin smooth and clear.
- Exfoliating body scrubs-I’ve always said that a good scrub can make you feel as though you just came back from vacation, and for me, it’s true. For pennies per use, you can create a body scrub from kitchen ingredients. I like to use white sugar and brown sugar with kaolin clay and whatever oil I have on hand. Sometimes, depending on my mood, I’ll even add an essential oil or two. NOTE-NEVER USE CITRUS JUICES IN YOUR SCRUBS. Using this class of ingredients in your scrubs will cause phototoxicity and make you skin sensitive to sunlight. You. Will. Burn.
- Bath salts-It took me years to believe in the power of bath salts. I mean, they smelled nice, but I never felt any different. Then, two things happened: (a) I joined a gym, and (b) I read “Sacred Woman” by Queen Afua. Now, in regards to the former, when I started doing my heavy lifting, the nightly soaks became necessary, especially on leg day. As for the Latter, Queen Afua wrote something that really changed the way that I look at bath salts. She said that for bath salts to really work, you have to use a lot. Her suggested amount was 1 lb. I thought that she was crazy, but I tried it one night…and I’ve never looked back. I felt…as though I had just come out of Maracas. Since then, I’ve stuck to a recipe of 1 lb epsom salt, 1 lb pure sea salt, 1 lb pure baking soda, 3/4 cup kaolin clay, and 2 tbsps of activated charcoal. Depending upon how I feel…I may add essential oils to scent it. Use 1 lb of bath salts at a time. It may seem like a lot, but if you don’t taste the salt in your bath water, it’s not theraputic…and you won’t feel anything. Trust.
- Body butter-Decadence in a jar. The nice part of this product is that you can use pure butter alone if that’s what you want, or you can add oils to really supercharge its effectiveness. I’ve been making this since college, and I usually mix shea, coconut, and mango butters with a variation of infused carrier oils such as coconut, almond, grapeseed, jojoba, olive, apricot, rosehip, and argan.
- Hair oil-Now this is the product that I am the most picky about. I’m big on hair oils because they’re a huge part of my routine for hair health. I also refuse to buy hair oils because 99% of hair oils cointaim some form of silicone, which I’m not a fan of using in oil form. I tend to massage my scalp 4-7 times per week with my blend of infused coconut oil, essential oils, argan and almond oils.
So those are the products that I like to make on my own. Making those five products allow me to save some coin and explore my inner chemist. What products do you like to make on your own?
I couldn’t wait until next week to share with you the finale in my morning routine, which is the finale of all finales: le maquillage. El maquillaje. The make-up.
There are days when I will happily wear nothing but some ByTerry’s Baume de Rose, and call it a day. However, there are other days when I feel like pulling a Rihanna/Fifth Harmony collaboration and putting in the “work, work, work, work, work.” I’m going to share with you my routine for one of these days.
Welcome back! If you’ve been reading along, I’ve split my morning “Get Ready With Me at the Gym” routine into three acts. Act I was about my shower routine post-workout, so keep on reading for Act II!
When I come out of the shower, I need to feel clean, as though I’ve scrubbed every inch of sweat, dirt, and city life out of my existence. Once that task has been accomplished, I can saunter over to my locker in nothing but my favorite blue bath towels from college (don’t judge me, my mom is the queen of Macy’s bargains) and begin my skincare routine. Here goes nothing:
I want to make an admission: I am an early morning gymrat…who happens to be a make-up addict.
I know that it seems improbable and impractical. You, dear reader, would be well within your rights to ask me how I manage to carry all of the products that I have if you were there to witness it. My mother tells me that I carry way too much…and she’s probably right. But here’s the thing: As much as I am a free spirit who seems to epitomize chaos and floating through life with no worries, I am someone who needs a steady routine/ritual in the morning to center myself and get my mind ready to face the day. My morning routine is a three-act routine, and each step to me represents a forging of a different part of my armor. This first act is my shower routine.