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Homemade facial & body scrubs- Exfoliates to help your skin wake up for spring!

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Spring is finally here and by here I mean Adelaide, Australia. As I put my knitwear away and unpack my shorts, I know I need a good exfoliation to be truly spring ready. Winter is awesome for bad skin as you can layer up and look chic. I treat my winters as therapy time for my skin where I massage them with warm almond oil and seal them in copious amounts of vitamin E moisturiser.

Spring ushers in shorts, sexy tops and flirty dresses, so no escape for dull, flaky skin. So what’s my secret to spring ready smooth skin? Exfoliation!

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Exfoliation has its roots in ancient history with women in Japan rubbing rice bran on their face to keep skin smooth and bright. The anti-inflammatory properties of rice seeds and bran made them an excellent cleanser and softener. The Ebers Papyrus mentions the use of powdered alabaster, sea salt and honey by early Egyptians to keep the skin perfect! The Greeks invented the first body scrub when they oiled and then scrubbed their skin with sand.

Exfoliation is the removal of dead skin cells on the skin’s surface making it an ideal solution for dry flaky skin conditions. It is a safe procedure as long as you remember to be gentle and not to use harsh abrasives that can injure your skin. Once a week is quite sufficient to achieve that smooth soft glowing skin you have been dreaming of.

There are two types of exfoliation manual (scrubs) and chemical (enzymes from fruit). Chemical scrubs use fruit enzymes along with moisturising emollients like honey and yoghurt.  These rely on the enzymes to slog off the dead cells instead of the abrasive action of scrubs, its gentler and ideal for sensitive skin. The only down side being their preparation time, storage (fridge), need to be left on for about 5 mins and that they need to be used up before they spoil. Personally, I prefer manual scrubs since I can have it ready in my bathroom and don’t have to worry about an expiry date.

health Homemade scrubs:

Honey has anti-bacterial and rehydrating properties so a dab of it in anything is a good thing.url

Olive oil is great both inside and out! Known to keep cancer and heart disease at bay by incorporating it in your cooking. It’s an excellent moisturiser and makes a good base for scrubs.

Baking Soda or sodium bicarbonate is a versatile product and completely harmless. Make it into a paste rub it in round circular motions and rinse off, its gentle enough for everyday use.

 Sugar & Olive Oil facial scrub

Mix normal white sugar with enough olive oil to make a paste. Add a dab of honey for extra moisturising effect.

sea-salt1 Fragrant sea salt body scrub

Two parts sea salt with one part olive oil, add a few drops of your favourite essence (tea tree oil, lavender oil, lemon oil or try vanilla) and your heavenly body scrub is ready.

If you’re heading out to the beach, rub a little sea sand over your feet and wash off with seawater. The most natural sea salt exfoliate available and it’s free.

In fact washed sea sand mixed with olive oil is an excellent body scrub.

 Anti-ageing tip:

You won’t be 21 forever, how you protect your skin today will define how you look tomorrow. Using sunscreen keeps the wrinkles at bay and when you’re 50 you will swear by those empty tubs of sunscreen!

Lastly, smile and unleash the inner diva within! 

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Curly hair- Sexy and you know it!

imgres-6This post is for Rhema who requested a few hairstyles for curly hair.

First of all the golden rule for curly hair is to condition it, religiously, the more coarse the texture, more frequently should you treat it to a nourishing rich conditioning treatment. A homemade oil blend that I personally use is what I have found works best.

½ part coconut oil

¼ part Olive oil

¼ part Castor oil (castor oil doesn’t smell too good but it is so richly nourishing, it is nature’s best kept secret!)

Heat this, low flame, extremely well, the oils need to blend. Let it cool and when bearable to touch apply it whilst warm onto your scalp, massaging well, then apply to the ends and finally massage the rest of your hair. Make sure that every strand is well oiled. Depending on how badly damaged your hair is your hair will absorb the oil. Leave it for at least an hour, best if left overnight (remember to cover your pillow with an old towel and avoid silk pyjamas), wash as normal and condition.

Towel dry, gently, just squeezing (do not wring) it gently between a well absorbent towel. Run a very, very wide comb, bottom to top, gently to remove any tangles. If your hair is brittle or badly damaged you might want to untangle it when you condition you hair after shampooing. Then rinse the conditioner without disturbing your hair, let it fall in front of you while you run water over it.

Depending on your hair texture, you might want to condition it with a hairstyling product (depending on you hair texture you will need to experiment with a curl enhancer or volumiser with varying strengths of hold, use sparingly) before you blow dry it, something that works on you, this will help hold the curls and protect your hair (wet hair is more prone to damage). Remember to crunch up your hair; bend your head forward, letting your hair fall in front of you. Take lumps of hair into open palms and then moving upward toward the roots crunch them. Do this to your entire head of hair. Blow-dry your hair with the large extension designed for curly hair, called a diffuser. Use it at its lowest setting for both air and heat; this will prevent frizzy hair on the surface of the individual curls.

Work from the back of your head to the front, bottom to top. If you have long hair clump it in a circular motion from the ends to the roots into the diffuser, else just hold it above your hair. Resist the urge to run your fingers through your hair, you will ruin your curls, just use your fingers to flick your hair at the scalp. Don’t blow dry for too long, your hair should be a little damp.hair 1855

When your hair is completely dry, grease you fingers with a little (very minute amount) hair cream and run though you hair to release curls and to bind them into locks, twirling the locks around your fingers. Practice makes perfect, and once you begin to understand you hair and how it behaves you can alter this technique to suit your hair type.

Now for some Fashionista hairstyles!

With curly hair, it’s not about your face shape as much as your forehead size. If you have a broad forehead you need to decide if you want it covered or emphasized. Experiment with both looks and see what suits you best.

If you want it covered, going in for curly bangs, works best.

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If you want it emphasized, pulling back your hair, leaving a little bump and just a single beautiful curly lock, works gorgeously.

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The second factor to consider is the type of curls, do you have thin, tight curls or loose round curls. Needless to say, finer hair tends to form small tight curls and thicker hair tends to form big round curls. Either way curls look best, when well conditioned and clumped into individual curls, which is why running a fine comb through curly hair is a bad idea as it ends up giving it a bushy appearance.

Be mentally prepared to invest a little time and effort into getting that Diva look, remember the old adage no pain no gain? When I had my long tresses permed, just bending forward blow-drying my hair was painful, but the end result was well worth the effort.

Before you go in for a hair cut, study your hair, most hairstylist are not well versed with curly hair, unless you go to a specialist saloon, so do you homework. You need to understand your hair, when cropped does it spring tightly going shorter or is it unaffected? When short does it defy gravity? Is it more manageable when long or does it get tangled causing you grief? Does it get too heavy if it’s long (giving you a headache)?

Your answers to these questions will help you decide which hairstyle is best, long or short. Once you have that figured you need to find a style that compliments your personality. A romantic look, well kept professional look or like me do you prefer the wild child look?

Personally I prefer long tresses just for the sheer variety of hairstyles you can experiment with.

Short styles:

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You can straighten just a few strands in the front and styling them into a soft wave, leaving the rest curly. If you want your hair to behave you could use pins designed to hold curly hair, to give a more defined appearance. Pinning the locks behind the ears higher up exposing your ear which could display  gorgeous earings, whilst highlighting your slender neck?

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Long hairstyles:

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For a more romantic appeal try twisting strands into a crown frame letting the rest just fall over your shoulder.

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Headpieces, ribbons, even braided hair can be used to hold and style.

If your hair isn’t too thick, you could use a hair band to create a  gorgeous cascading effect.

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A wild child look, according to me never goes out of fashion!

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Highlights look amazing on curly hair so go for it!

I hope you found this article informative, let me know about your style experiments!

PS. all these images were googled (free) and I hope I haven’t infringed on anyone’s copyright!