DIY Body Lotion |à la Wellness Mama

Have many of you heard of Wellness Mama? Her blog is incredible for all things natural and eco-friendly, providing recipes for everything from foundation to lip balms. She really is the Queen of Green (*cheesy puns*) Eco-friendly, natural, organic, no animal testing or chemicals – right up my street! So I decided to give it a whirl and use her recipe to create my own body lotion using just THREE ingredients. I’ve mentioned before that I am not a skilled baker whatsoever and for some reason, I expected that lack of talent to transfer into this process but it was actually so simple and took less than twenty minutes. Tempted to give it a try? Here we go…

I take no credit for this recipe – this all Wellness Mama’s!

DIY lotion bars wellness mama

Ingredients

  1. Coconut oil – I am using Viridian 100% organic, raw coconut oil** and it is simply divine. It is also a massive 500g jar, so you’ll get a lot of batches of lotion out of it. I was really keen to use high quality coconut oil because it will be going all over my skin, and the less processed the better as far as I’m concerned. Remember, what goes on goes IN!
  2. Cacao butter – Wellness Mama says cocoa, shea butter or mango butter work too, but I find cacao butter gives a lovely fragrance that means you don’t need to add any other scent. Plus, I couldn’t find shea or mango conveniently, whereas cacao butter is in every health-related store these days and it’s not too pricey either.
  3. Bees Wax – Unfortunately, this recipe is not vegan because of this ingredient, but I will investigate alternatives and keep you posted! I found this bar in The Health Store, but from some brief searches online it looks like it can also be purchased in a more granular form, so whichever is more convenient for you!
  4. Silicone Cake Cups – These little gems were only €1.50 for 12 in a local store and they’re perfect for this task – no sticking, no paper waste and they’re reusable so you can get a lot of use from them! I’ll be keeping this pack for future batches – they’re also handy for storing the lotion bars in.

 Because this was my first attempt and honestly, I wasn’t sure what to expect, I cut the recipe a little bit and used a half cup of cacao butter and coconut oil, and half of the beeswax bar. From this batch I got four large lotion blocks, so you could increase or decrease according to what you would like!

DIY lotion bars wellness mama

Step 1: I created a very improvised bain-marie to melt the three ingredients together. By that I mean, I put them in a bowl over a pot of boiling water and the heat melts them… It sounded fancier as a bain-marie… Please, please be careful using this method as it’s extremely easy to scald yourself or get a nasty steam burn. I had oven mitts to hold the bowl in place as I stirred and make sure to let steam escape constantly so that you don’t effectively create a pressure cooker! This is not a job for little kiddies to be involved in.

Step 2: Stir the ingredients until they are in a pure liquid form.

Step 3: At this stage, remove them from the heat and if you want to add essential oils, do so now. As I said, I didn’t because the cacao butter gives  a delicious scent by itself.

Step 4: I had my silicone molds in a cupcake tray to keep them in position. Carefully pour the liquid into the molds – I actually spooned it in very slowly to avoid any waste and/or burning of my hands and would strongly endorse this method. Any spills can be easily cleaned because they’ll dry almost like wax immediately and can be wiped/scraped off. Nevertheless, I’d do this on a counter-top rather than an expensive wooden table #commonsense

Step 5: Leave the bars to cool fully – I did this at around 8pm so I left them until the next morning. By then they were completely solid and ready to pop out of the molds.

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I gave one to my friend, one to my mum, have been using one myself and have a spare waiting for when I run out. So far – a resounding success! They begin to melt as soon as they touch the skin, so keep them somewhere cool and dry. They aren’t the quickest drying product, and the skin will look wet for longer than it physically is, but as with all moisturising products it’s really an individual skin-by-skin case. I use it before bed each night to give it time to really absorb without any worry about my clothing.

So… what do you think? Tempted to try them?

Let me know in the comments!

~ MTL

mirrorthelove@gmail.com

**Viridian kindly sent me this beautiful 100% raw organic coconut oil. It is grown in accordance with the Soil Association guidelines for organic farming and production, and for every purchase of a Viridian product, they donate a portion back to charity. Viridian are the leading brand of ethical vitamins, maintaining a strong ethical philosophy at all stages. This means no animal testing, non-GMO, non-irradiated and 100% active ingredients with no additives, no added sugars, no colourings and no artificial flavourings.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.

 

Saving Tips & Shopping Your Stash | Snupps

It’s coming up to that time of year when our bank accounts can take a major hit – especially if Santa is visiting your home and you need to stock up on cookies and carrots! Unfortunately, by way of marketing genius, it’s also the time when everything in shops looks extra glitzy. We want to buy cosmetics for Christmas parties and New Years Eve looks and well, it’s easy to get sucked in by festive packaging, even if we absolutely do not need another red lipstick.

The problem I have – and I’m sure I’m not alone – is that sometimes I can’t remember exactly what I already have. Do I own this shade of nail polish? Or will I regret not getting it, so I should, just in case? Sound familiar? Well, turns out there’s an app that can help with that and save a lot of money on the way.

Snupps is a free app available for Android and Apple, and is a perfect way of documenting what you already own – be it in cosmetics, skincare, nail care or clothing (not sponsored in any way, just found it through a YouTube recommendation). By adding photographs and labeling the various items, you can scan through and at a glance see what you have and what you actually need.  As I’m currently trying to use up a lot of older products, this has been an absolute blessing for me and honestly, I’ve found it quite exciting to “shop” my stash and remember things I already own that have sadly been neglected (and horrifying to realise I’ve now got about seven lipsticks  in more or less the same colour…none of which actually suit me! )

Snupps mirrorthelove collection cruelty free cosmetics

It also allows you to enter in information like when you bought it, when you want to use it by and how much it cost. Of course, it wouldn’t be “social” media without an interactive element. Using the ‘explore’ button, you can search and follow other beauty/fashion collectors and see what they own, ask whether they’d recommend it and give “wows” (basically likes) on particular products you might want to purchase yourself. Kind of like creating a virtual wishlist!

Snupps mirrorthelove cruelty free nail polishes catrice cosmetics

 My username is mirrorthelove, so if you set up an account follow me there so I can follow back! I’ll also be adding all my CF products on there, so you can see what I own and recommend other brands to me!

Speaking of which – any CF foundation recommendations??

Let me know if you set up a Snupps account! I am certain it will continue to save me money, and has already helped me to clear old really old make-up and stuff that has chemicals I don’t want on my skin. What’s one product you find yourself over-purchasing?

Can’t wait to reconnect with you all! I’ve missed blogging! xx

~ mirrorthelove@gmail.com

http://www.instagram.com/mirrorthelove

Sunday Shoutout | Marleys Monsters

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This week’s recommendation is a company based on family and sustainability.

Marley’s Monsters, which was established by the Marley’s mom in Oregon, specialises in creating gorgeous re-usable household, childcare and beauty items, including facial rounds, towels, nursing pads and baby bibs.

Think about it beauties – how many facial wipes do you go through per month, and how much cheaper AND more eco-friendly would it be if you could just wash them out and reuse them again and again? Now parents, consider all your baby needs that could save you a lot of cash if you could get multiple uses from them? Well, here’s a company that caters to that. Let’s face it – parenting costs enough as it is! They also have a range of gorgeous gift sets that are perfect for any upcoming baby showers or birthdays!

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Sunday Shoutout | Kuttlefish

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If you missed my post earlier this week about an online store that I am loving lately, well you’re in luck because here it is AND they are also my Sunday Shoutout this week (it’d be silly not to mention them again).

On this site, upcyclers and crafters can buy and sell one-of-a-kind upcycled projects, share inspiration, chat tips & tricks in the discussion section, complete challenges that will pump your creative juices and build your community of fellow eco-conscious DIY-ers! I’m going to post some of my favourite inspirational pics here (that weren’t in my last post – I have a lot to choose from) to tickle your taste buds, and then you can pop over and hunt for more! Which is your favourite? Do you upcycle or enjoy crafts?

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Attention Crafters, Upcyclers & Design Fiends | Kuttlefish

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If you have ever had a quick look at my Instagram, you’ll probably be familiar with the name “Kuttlefish”. This company is one whose photos I have re-posted a number of times and which never fail to attract attention.

Kuttlefish is an online company through which crafters and upcyclers around the world can sell their re-imagined products and art-pieces. At the heart of Kuttlefish is the basic idea that reusing or recycling a material is good – that materials are worth something, even after they are thrown “away.” From furniture to clothing to decor and gifts, this site offers artists the opportunity to sell their work and offers YOU the chance to buy one-off pieces and support both the sellers and an eco-friendly ethos.  Within this eco-friendly status, Kuttlefish operates on a Material Origin Promise (MOP). This means that at least 5% of the materials making the product or project have been diverted from the landfill. These aren’t just items that have been bought at a garage sale for $1, quickly painted and then sold for $100. Every single product is a work of art and craftsmanship.

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Would you like to sell and share your work across the globe? Here’s the deal: Kuttlefish has the lowest commissions, which means that in comparison to their competitors, the artist gets a significantly larger chunk of the price – they are valued for their work and the time and commitment that has gone into it. How low I hear you ask? 1%. Yep, 1% for the first year and then 3% afterwards. So if you earn $40, Kuttlefish gets 40cent and you get $39.60. Comparatively, a competitor charges 3.5% from the get-go. Kuttlefish is also completely, absolutely, entirely free to join. So you can try this service for absolutely nothing, list a product for absolutely nothing and if it doesn’t sell – no loss!

Would you like to buy something totally unique? Here’s a list of the categories they stock… you can imagine the array of items that fall within each!

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Would you just like to meet a community of upcyclers and crafters? Gain inspiration, motivation and get the creative juices flowing tenfold? Kuttlefish has a message board where you can do just that. Chat with other designers, get your questions answered, give advice to other aspiring creators. It’s more than a place to buy and sell, but an opportunity to network and build up a community of upcyclers! Here are some of their community upcycling ideas:

(Personalised Fridge Magnets from Beer Bottlecaps)

Kuttlefish Instagram Inspiration

Kuttlefish Instagram Inspiration via Pretty Providence

Feel Like A Creative Challenge? They host challenges! Basically they’ll set a guideline – for example, turning trash into treasure, and you can let your imagination run wild! It’s perfect for those winter days when you want something to do, but can’t come up with a solid idea! (And winter is coming, afterall…)

So, what do they have on offer? Here are just some of the pieces I love on the website. You can also follow them on instagram here. (Can you tell by the items I selected that I love accessories? I’m a magpie)

Shop Source: The Upcycle Jewellery Company (Ships from: UK; Owl brooch from upcycled watch parts)

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Shop Source: Earth Sisters (Ships from Canada; Made using broken crockery)

Shop Source: Iamthemandy (Ships from: USA; Made using old magazines)

Shop Source: Reclaim (Ships from: UK; Made using recycled rubber inner tube and orange PVC)

Okay, I could post a dozen images but I figure it would be more fun if you go onto the site and tell me what you like! I think I’ll end up doing some Christmas shopping here, so let me know what catches your eye.

Kuttlefish Facebook (They already have over 140,000 likes!)

Kuttlefish Instagram

* I am not affiliated with Kuttlefish. I was not paid or compensated in any way for this post.

~ mirrorthelove@gmail.com

Skincare Each Day Keeps Spiders Away

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Okay, so despite fully supporting eco-friendly living and abhorring anything that harms animals, I have a confession… I do not like spiders.

I’m don’t have arachnophobia, and I’m not uncomfortable with the little ones… but once the weather changes and the big hairy fellas start coming indoors – no.thank.you. (Second confession: I still scream for my parents/whatever back-up is available). But here’s my problem – I don’t want to kill them. I just don’t want them near me or my bed.

So how to solve this? Meet a skincare savior AND ultimate spider repellant.

While I never experienced acne growing up, I have definitely had some whopper spots over the years – and still do at certain times of the month or if I eat particular foods. While reaching for large-brand chemical cleansers can seem easy and cheap, do you really know what’s in those products? Or what animals are suffering behind these multimillion dollar ranges? All those words you can’t pronounce…well they’re going right into your skin. Would you eat something if you had no idea what it was? Well then why do we settle for putting these products into our pores? I began to hunt for a natural, cruelty-free remedy.

Enter – Tea tree oil!

Tea tree oil (Melaleuca alternifoliais) is an essential oil native to Australia that has become something of a star in the skincare world over the past few years.

This gem is a natural antibacterial agent with soothing properties, preventing spots from the get-go and soothing any that may have already popped up, reducing healing time and scarring. Just a little dab of it at night (I recommend buying an already diluted version), or using cleansers that are based on tea-tree oil can work wonders by morning and prevent infections from setting in. It also works a treat for back and body acne if you buy it in soap-form and use it as your body wash.

So where do spiders come in? They hate the smell of tea-tree oil. In fact adding a few drops of tea tree oil to regular water in a spray bottle acts as a top class spider repellant, and just throwing your old cleanser pads covered in tea-tree oil in your bedroom bin can produce the desired effect. Similarly, head lice cannot stand it either so add a few drops to shampoo and you’re good to go – especially if you have little ones in classrooms all day long.

I love it when a product is worth it’s weight in gold.

What other uses do you know of for tea tree oil?

Tea tree oil should NEVER be ingested.

~ mirrorthelove@gmail.com