I Wash My Face With Clay

 
CLAY FACE WASH
 

I don’t use soap on my face. After battling years of acne in high school, I realized that the more I washed my face, the worse things got. I eventually gave up and stoped washing my face altogether. The wild thing is, my skin got better when I stopped washing. What I didn’t know then was I was stripping my skin of the bacteria and oil that naturally protected it, causing major breakouts.

Human skin has a natural PH of around 5 or lower, using soap, cosmetics and in some cases even city tap water, can disrupt that PH, brining it to more alkaline levels. When we disturb the acid mantle of our skin the bacteria that thrive in the higher PH environment stop thriving and leave our skin vulnerable to infection, breakouts, and dry skin.

How Often To Use Kaolin Clay Mask

I still don’t wash my face every day, but I do use clay at least 3 times a week and my favorite being Kaolin Clay. This clay has a PH of about 5-6 and does not disturb your skin’s acid mantle.

Deep Pore Cleansing & Exfoliating.

I fill a small wide mouthed jar with the clay, wet a cotton ball, dab it in the clay and spread across my face. I let the clay sit on my face for 1-2 minutes. It dries so quickly, if you wait any longer it will start to flake off of your skin, leaving a dusting of clay everywhere. As it dries I can see my pores soaking up the clay. I wipe the clay off of my face with a warm washcloth. I often need to go over my face with the cloth two or three times to get the clay out of my pores and remove all the dead skin cells. The difference before and after is impressive! My face feels smooth, polished and my pores are much less visible.

The days I don’t wash my face with clay, I use the Oil Cleansing Method or a Bentonite Clay & ACV mask. On days I don’t wear makeup, I will often skip washing my face altogether and my skin is still super happy!

I usually like to keep things simple and use the kaolin on its own, but sometimes I feel fancy and add essential oils (lavender to soothe, frankincense for rejuvenating/healing).

Have you ever tried kaolin clay? How do you keep your skin happy?

Vegan Cheese CRACKers

 
Vegan Cheese Crackers .jpg
 

One of the things I miss most about eating processed food is the ability to grab a quick crunchy snack. As much as a carrot or handful of nuts can satisfy the crunchy craving, they are no bag of chips. Ok, I never really enjoyed bags of chips, I would feel so gross eating them the whole time. I did love crackers however, and can think of many times I would eat an entire box without even noticing.

Since I found out a few years back that I feel much better without dairy, cheese is the thing I miss the most. When experimenting with some mac and cheese recipes, I came up with this deliciousness. Not only will this mixture make crackers, you can mix it with your favorite pasta (we love red lentil pasta), use it as a dip for veggies, or just sit at the counter and eat it with the spoon. 

Did you know that only 35% of adults today produce lactase, the enzyme that helps to break down sugar in milk?[1]

Yield: 4

Vegan Cheese CRACKers

Crunchy addictive cashew cheese crackers.

prep time: 15 minscook time: 20 minstotal time: 35 mins

ingredients

instructions

  1. Place all ingredients into a blender and process on high until you have a creamy texture. If the mixture seems stiff, add a bit more water. Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper and spread your mixture in a thin even layer across the sheet. Sprinkle mixture with some extra salt. Bake at 350° for about 20 minutes. Check frequently for spots that are cooking more quickly than others and eat them before they burn.
  2. *If your blender does not easily process nuts into a smooth consistency, you may want to soak your cashews overnight. I prefer the flavor of the roasted cashews in this recipe, and I’m impatient, so just throw it all in with no soaking.
Created using The Recipes Generator

Make Your Own Eyeshadow with Spices, Clays and Minerals

 
Spice Shadow.jpg
 

If you know me well, you know that I'm not a huge fan the caked-on makeup look. In high school I pretty much never wore makeup, except for once or twice a year, eliciting many shocked and excited comments from friends, especially my mother, when I did. The older I've gotten, the more frequently I wear makeup, but often stick to just mascara and some lip tint. Going shopping at Sephora or any makeup counter, has always been sensory overload for me. Smells and colors and people trying to put things on me...it is not my happy place. That's not to say I don't like the idea of makeup, I actually think it can be really fun to play around with. This time of year there seem to be more reasons to get dressed up and make my face sparkly.   

About 10 years ago I found a recipe online for a homemade face powder and it just so happened I had all the ingredients I needed on hand. The results were pretty great and since that time I have continued to create my own recipes for makeup. The results aren't always perfect and I have had to toss many a failure on the compost pile, but my most recent project I have been really happy with. The first time I made eyeshadow I was experimenting with inorganic pigments, mainly iron oxides. The colors were vibrant and beautiful and I really enjoyed using them. You can be very precise when color matching with inorganic pigments, however not *everyone* has a sample set of iron oxides sitting around the house. I am willing to bet that if you are reading this post, you probably have some cinnamon, cacao and maybe some turmeric in your spice cabinet right now.

Using spices and clays to make eyeshadows are not only convenient, but I feel SO much better about what I'm putting on my face. The ingredients found in common eyeshadows can be pretty nasty: aluminum, coal tar, formaldehyde and parabens, just to name a few. There are also a few companies that use nanoparticles in their mineral makeup. Nanoparticles can enter your bloodstream and accumulate in your body, not something we should expect to happen with makeup. The color from most cosmetic products come from iron oxides. Oxides are generally considered safe and the EWG considers them a low risk. That being said, the process of making pigments from oxides in a laboratory is pretty involved this video gives you an idea of how they are made. I found myself wanting something more accessible that has hopefully gone though less processing.

While lots of companies are starting to change their products due to public pressure, one way to make sure you know what is in your eyeshadow is to make it yourself!


Ingredients

Most of the ingredients I use in these recipes are easy to acquire (especially with the internet) if you don't already have them in your kitchen. 

Gold Mica Dust - Mica is a mineral that adds a bit of sparkle to your eyeshadow. When mica is wet ground it is like a fine glitter dust. A little goes a long way! 

Sericite Mica - Sericite Mica is an incredibly fine mineral that works to help the color adhere to your skin. It also helps to spread the color evenly. 

Beetroot Powder - For pinks and reds. You can purchase (or grow!) your own beets, slice, dehydrate and grind your own powder. Or pick some powder up at your local health food store. I like the Starwest Botanicals brand. Color will vary.

Cinnamon - Not only does it smell good, but it is a lovely warming color. 

Spirulina Powder - A blue-green alge that has numerous health benefits, also is an incredibly vibrant color of green. 

Turmeric - Another powerhouse spice that is amazing internally and externally. Add just a pinch for bright golden yellow. 

Cacao Powder - Cacao adds a light brown color and smells wonderful. 

Allspice - When I want a darker brown, allspice adds a nice depth of color. 

Activated Charcoal - Black. I've been using activated charcoal for years as an eyeliner. It makes a beautifully smokey shadow as well. 

Hibiscus Powder - Reds, pinks and purples. Hibiscus is high in vitamin c and great internally and externally. You can buy dried hibiscus flowers and grind them yourself or buy the powder ready to go. 


Tips and Tricks

Hibiscus eyeshadow dusted and hibiscus sparkle liner

Hibiscus eyeshadow dusted and hibiscus sparkle liner

When using spices for makeup, the effects will be more subtle then store bought products. While adding ingredients like mica help with adhesion and application, they are going to be more understated applied directly. If you are a fan of of the natural look, these recipes will be great on their own. If you would prefer a bolder look, here are some tricks you can use:

Moisturize Well. Applying oil or lotion to your eyelids will help the powder to stay put and adhere better. I like using argan oil. 

Arrowroot Powder. If you really want to show off the color, dusting your eyelid with arrowroot first will give you a good base.

Add Water. For a really clear line, you can wet your brush with a bit of water, dip in the eyeshadow. You can also use this trick with an eyeliner brush to turn your eyeshadow into a liner. 

Aloe Vera. Similar to water, you can use aloe vera juice on your brush to make a little paste with the colors and apply as a liner or eyeshadow. 

Concealer. By adding concealer to your eyelid you can make a nice clean palate to work with. Concealer recipe coming soon!

 

Activated charcoal eyeliner and smokey shadow

Activated charcoal eyeliner and smokey shadow

As you can tell from the pictures...I am not a makeup artist! I just mess around with techniques until I like what I see. 

Just a note on tools: in the recipes I mention the measurements dash, smidgen, tad, and drop. These are clearly non standard measurements! They come from my favorite tiny measuring spoons. When measuring using such small amounts, it really helps to have a uniform measuring spoon. If you don't have these spoons, just wing it! A tad is about 1/4 teaspoon, a dash is less than that, then a pinch, then a smidgen, then a drop. When you want to get really serious about homemade makeup we can talk about scales and spice grinders, but that will have to be another day. 

I should probably mention brushes as well. When you apply your shadow to a brush as loose powder, tap the end of your brush upside down on the counter before you apply. This will help the powder to set into the brush and help you avoid getting loose powder all over your face. All of these recipes can be used as eyeliners as well. A straight angled brush is a great tool for lining your eye and can work wet or dry. 

Have fun experimenting and don't be shy to make it up as you go!

 

Homemade Eyeshadow Recipes

Before you get started you want to get set up with a few tools: Small mixing bowls, a small whisk, measuring spoons, mini funnels (or roll a paper funnel), tiny measuring spoons (for all the dashes, smidgens, drops and tads you see below) and a small container to store your powder (old eyeshadow containers that have been sterilized work great!). Who doesn't love working with all these miniature tools?!

Precaution: You want to avoid breathing in the powders, as you are mixing by hand that should be pretty easy. If you want to be extra cautions you can use a dust mask while working. 

 Whisk all of the ingredients together and pour into your jar using a funnel.   

Deep Green

1/2 tsp Spirulina Powder

Pinch Gold Mica Dust

Tad Sericite Mica

 

Dusk/Mauve

1/4 tsp Beetroot Powder

Dash Cinnamon

Dash Sericite Mica

Drop of Gold Mica Dust (Optional)

 

Golden Brown

1/4 tsp Cinnamon

Dash Turmeric

Dash Sericite Mica

Drop of Gold Mica Dust (Optional)

 

Smokey

1/4 tsp Cacao Powder

1/4 tsp Allspice

Pinch Activated Charcoal

Dash Sericite Mica

Drop of Gold Mica Dust (Optional)

 

Hibiscus Sparkle

1/2 tsp Hibiscus Powder 

1/4 tsp Sericite Mica

Drop of Gold Mica Dust 

 

These recipes are just a place for you to start. Play around with the colors and come up with your own combinations! Make sure to take notes so you can replicate if you like the results! And don't forget to come back and let me know what worked for you!

Perfect Artichokes in the Instant Pot

 
 

Artichokes are one of my favorite foods. They are fun to eat and great for you. In her book Nourishing Traditions, Sally Fallon says the following about artichokes:

Research indicates that the artichoke can benefit the intestinal tract and the heart; it has been shown to reduce blood clotting time and to neutralize certain toxic substances. Studies in Japan and Switzerland show that artichokes can lower blood cholesterol. In fact, a constituent of artichoke called cynarin has been formulated into a cholesterol-lowering drug.

Last year my husband surprised me with an Instant Pot and it has been my favorite kitchen tool ever since. A pressure cooker that you can also use as a slow cooker, yogurt maker, and rice cooker that you can sauté in. It has been so much fun to use. Dinners have gone faster, meat is more tender and now I can make perfect artichokes in 15 minutes!

Instant Pot Artichokes

2 Large Artichokes

1/2 Lemon

1 Cup Water

Instant Pot

Prep your artichokes: Trim stem, pull off leaves at the base of the stem, cut off the top of the artichokes and trim the tips of the remaining leaves. Rub the lemon half all over the edges of the cut leaves and the outer leaves. Pour one cup of water in the bottom of your Instant Pot. Place the steamer rack inside the pot. Arrange the artichokes stem side down. Close lid and set to sealing. Select Manual and set time to 15 minutes. When the timer goes off, release steam and carefully remove artichokes. Optional: Place on a medium high grill for 3 minutes  for some flavor country! Serve with some homemade mayo and enjoy!

I Rinse My Hair With Rice Water

 
Rice water Rinsed Hair
 

Have you heard of the Hualong village in China where the ladies only cut their hair once in their life? Pictures of these women show up in Facebook articles every so often where they mention they have made it into the Guinness Book of world records for longest hair. Their hair is 6 to 7 feet long, it is thick, shiny and dark. They also say that the women don't start going grey until they are in their 80s. Their secret for beautiful hair is said to be rinsing their hair with the water leftover from rinsing rice. 

This article on Hair Buddha gives a great explanation of why rice water works. In her article she mentions SK-II has a skin care product called Pitera. SK-II say they were inspired to create Pitera based on the hands of older sake workers, which would appear smooth and youthful in contrast to their wrinkled faces. The Birth of Sake is a documentary currently on Netflix and I re-watched in recently paying particular attention to their hands. It is remarkable how compared to the faces of the older workers, their hands were smooth and wrinkle free. 

Strain+Rice+Water

A few years ago I decided to go "no-poo" and detox my hair from my daily shampoo and conditioner routine. I did the baking soda wash and vinegar rinse and tried a few variations. None of them were really my favorite. When I found Morrocco Method shampoos I was so happy to find a non stripping formulation with raw ingredients. My hair had reset and no longer needed daily washing. However...Morrocco Method, due to it's cost is more of a treat to me, once a year I will order a set and enjoy spa like showers for a few months. When I'm out of Morrocco Method I use a shampoo from Rudy's Barbershop (this product does not meet my standards of not putting on your body what you wouldn't put in your mouth, but compared to most store bought brands I prefer it), thankfully since my scalp detox I don't have to wash every day. Once or twice a week works great. My hair routine does not include using conditioner. I have tried many different conditioners, most of them leaving my hair feeling film, oily or just contributed to the build up of product that needed to be stripped. 

When I tried the rice water for the first time it was better than some of nicest conditioners I had used (including Bumble and Bumble, and Morrocco Method). My hair was so soft after using it and it did an amazing job of detangling. Considering that it was so incredibly easy to make and it is basically free, I'm honestly not sure if I'll ever buy conditioner again.

Another benefit of soaking your rice overnight is that you will have rice that cooks quicker and is also easier to digest. In Nourishing Traditions, Sally Fallon talks quite a bit about soaking grains

Traditional societies usually soak or ferment their grains before eating them, processes that neutralize phytates and enzyme inhibitors and, in effect, predigest grains so that all their nutrients are more available. Sprouting, overnight soaking and old-fashioned sour leavening can accomplish this important predigestion process in our own kitchens.[1]

Lovely hair and more nutritious rice. Win Win!


Fermented Rice Water Hair Rinse

1 Cup of Organic White Rice  

2 Cups of filtered water 

Rinse the rice and then pour into a glass bowl with the two cups of water and cover. Let sit overnight. Strain the rice pouring the water into a jar or bottle. If you do not plan to use right away you can refrigerate for a day or two (but let it come to room temperature if you don't want an extremely cold rinse!). Shampoo hair as usual and rinse. Pour rice water over hair and let sit for 3-4 minutes. If you have longer hair, use a separate cup and place the ends of your hair directly in the rice water. You can capture the rice water in the cup as you pour the water from the bottle  over your hair for complete coverage. Rinse hair with warm water and dry as usual. 

 

Have you ever tried rice water for your hair? Let me know what you think in the comments!

 

[1] Fallon, Sally; Enig, Mary. Nourishing Traditions:  The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats (p. 25). National Book Network - A. Kindle Edition.: