Monday, June 21, 2010

Tips For Luscious Lips - Part 2

Welcome Summer Solstice! To commemorate the day, at about 7am this morning, I went for a 2.5 mile speed walk along the dirt road that meanders through my woods. Simply glorious. At the ocean-view vista at the top of our hill, I paid homage to the summer sun and her warm energy that she sends coarsing through my body and the flowers, herbs, and veggies in my garden. Ahh . . . summer!

As promised in the last blog, I will be sharing some natural lip care recipes that you can make at home and customize to your liking and/or needs. There will be three recipes in total. I'll give you the first one today.

The colorless versions of these lip treatments can be worn alone or as a base or top coat with your favorite commercial lipstick. The colored versions contain no added drying chemicals or mica or fish scales for shimmer; nor do they have that metallic lipstick taste that can linger in your mouth for hours. These beeswax and honey formulas provide only a sheer wash of color.

Using these recipes, you can create a basic, nourishing lip balm or gloss that smells and tastes good, not synthetic or manufactured. Your children will enjoy these lip treats, too!

Healing & Cooling Lip Balm & Gloss

This lip treatment is rich, soothing, ultracooling, and especially good for lips that are weather-beaten or chapped and tender.

4-5 tablespoons almond, jojoba, or castor base oil (castor oil is preferred if you want a super- shiny gloss)
1 tablespoon beeswax
2 teaspoons honey
20 drops peppermint or spearmint essential oil or tea tree essential oil (optional medicinal choice if you suffer from ultra-chapped or bleeding lips, or have fever blisters)
1/2 tube of your favorite natural, synthetic-free, colored lipstick (optional)

In a very small saucepan, over low heat or double boiler, warm oil, beeswax, and honey until the wax is just melted. DO NOT allow this mixture to get too hot . . . no simmering allowed! Do not walk away from the pan. Use 5 tablespoons of oil for a softer consistency; use 4 tablespoons for a firmer balm.

Remove from heat. Add the essential oil (if desired) and colored lipstick (if desired) at this time, and stir until the lipstick is melted. Set the pan in a shallow ice-water bath. Using a tiny whisk or iced-tea spoon, stir rapidly for 30-60 seconds until the honey is completely incorporated and the formula is like thick frosting. If you don't stir rapidly enough, the honey (which is water-based) will tend to separate out of the formula and settle to the bottom. The final product will be a pale yellow color unless you've added colored lipstick.

Spoon the mixture into storage containers and cap. Let the mixture set for 2 hours before use. No refrigeration is required, but for maximum freshness and taste, please use within 1 year.

Important Recipe Information:
Recommended for: everyone
Use: as desired
Prep Time: approx. 30 minutes plus 2 hours for flavor & consistency to synergize & set
Blending Tools: small whisk or spoon
Store in: very small plastic or glass jars or tins
Yield: approx. 12 - 14, 1/4-ounce containers or 6-7 tablespoons

NOTE: This article was written by Stephanie Tourles and adapted from her book, "Organic Body Care Recipes", Storey Publishing, 2007. The information is true and complete to the best of the author's knowledge. All recommendations are made without guarantee on the part of the author. The author disclaims any liability in connection with the use of this information. It is for educational purposes only.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Tips For Luscioius Lips - Part 1

Howdy everyone . . . I'm discussing "natural lip care" today and I'll show you ways to nourish and pamper those delicate lips to keep them soft, luscious, plump, and always comfortable, no matter what the season.

Unlike the rest of your skin, your lips do not contain any sebaceous glands (oil glands) or sweat glands to keep them moisturized and lubricated. If lip tissue is damaged by heat, cold, drying lipsticks, smoking, too many happy-hour beverages, herpes, or other agents such as some prescription medications or anti-aging creams containing glycolic acid or salicylic acid, the small amount of saliva that reaches your lips via the tip of the tongue will not be sufficient to prevent your lips from becoming dehydrated. Thus, many of us constantly slather them with lipsticks, glosses, balms, and ointments of various kinds in an attempt to prevent drying and cracking and simultaneously keep them kissably soft and supple.

If you're a woman, you probably know from first hand experience that many brands of lipstick tend to be drying instead of moisturizing (regardless of the advertising hype). Some can even cause your lips to flake, peel, and become unsightly. What's more, I have yet to see an "all-day formula" that lasts past midmorning without becoming unattractively cakey. Yet take heart! Over the next 4 blogs (this one included), I'll share tips and 4 chemical-free lip balm and gloss recipes that you can make at home and even customize with essential oil fragrance and color, if desired. All of the ingredients in the recipes are actually edible - which is a good thing considering women tend to ingest several pounds of lipstick over a lifetime.

PUCKER UP With These Lip Pampering Tips!

1. When venturing out into the sun, be it the beach or bright ski slope or back yard garden, don't forget to apply a lip balm with an SPF of 15 or higher. Find a natural balm containing micronized zinc oxide which blocks the sun's rays. Today's modern zinc oxide-based balms won't give you white lips like a 1960's lifeguard!

2. Thick castor oil, the main ingredient in most commercial lipsticks, can be applied straight out of the bottle for a natural glossy look sans color.

3. Slick on a bit of cocoa butter for a moisturizing chocolate-flavored lip treat. Great for men and boys because it's colorless and not too shiny.

4. After brushing your teeth, gently brush your lips as well. "Not only does it take away any chapping, but it plumps up the lip temporarily for that sought-after 'pouty' look," says Diane Irons, author of The World's Best-Kept Beauty Secrets.

5. Apply a lip balm frequently throughout the day to create a moisture-resistant barrier on your lips that will help prevent moisture loss.

6. Keep hydrated! Make sure to drink lots of water or herb tea throughout the day.

7. A dab of honey on your lips will act as a humectant, drawing moisture from the air to your skin, keeping your lips soft, plump, and kissably sweet.

8. A dab of vegetable glycerin mixed with vitamin E or wheat germ oil makes an effective, nourishing moisture barrier. Tastes good, too!

NOTE: The above article was written by Stephanie Tourles, lic. holistic esthetician, herbalist, aromatherapist, nutritionist, and author of 9 books on natural skin / body care. It was adapted from her book, "Organic Body Care Recipes", Storey Publishing, 2007. The information is true and complete to the best of Ms. Tourles' knowledge. All recommendations are made without guarantee on the part of Ms. Tourles. She disclaims any liability in connection with the use of this information. It is for educational purposes only.