Archive | January, 2013

Skin, Hair & Body Profile – Lina

31 Jan

At last! Seanna and I are compiling our individual skin and body profiles.

When it comes to our physical appearance, we are very different; Seanna is fair, with sensitive skin and naturally straight hair, while I’m olive-toned with wavy hair and oily skin. Needless to say, our makeup selections vary in colour palettes and we often modify each other’s beauty recipes. Sometimes, we even take completely different approaches to skincare altogether.

Here’s my profile at a glance:

Lina Skin Profile

Lina’s Skin Profile

  • Face – Oily- combination skin with occasional bouts of acne. My skin is usually well hydrated yet deceptively looks dull, especially in the winter months. When I’m not watching what I eat, I also tend to break-out around my mouth and the sides of my nose. I find customizing a gluten-free, raw diet coupled with lots of juicing particularly helps in these situations. When I have not seen the sun in a while, my skin tone often becomes uneven. Stress also causes ill-effects on my complexion, contributing to loss of pigmentation and dark circles under my eyes. Even though I don’t have sensitive skin, I only use hypoallergenic, natural products like witch hazel and coconut oil. Officially, my olive features lie on the cusp between dark and light-skinned pigmentation, also known as a Type IV on Fitzpatrick scale.
  • Hair – Dry and wavy with an oily scalp. My hair is naturally wavy, yet dry, and is prone to being dull. At the moment, my biggest challenge is finding a natural shampoo that thoroughly cleanses my greasy locks without compromising shine. I use apple cider vinegar (ACV) as a clarifying treatment in the shower and argon oil as a hair mask once a week. This regimen I believe, is balancing the pH level of my hair. I don’t usually get dandruff but I sometimes I shed a little too much for comfort!
  • Body and General Health – Tall, pear-shape and in relatively good health.  I consider the skin on my body to be oily with exception to some dry areas on my legs that appear in the winter. At times I also get acne on my back which is usually triggered by stress and/or bad diet. I have been categorized as “pear-shape” with narrower shoulders, measuring in at 175 cm (5’9”) since my last check- up 😉 My curvy image used to bother me throughout my younger years until I learned to just embrace my body. Now, my sole goal is to be healthy – I would even say that I feel better now than I did in high school. I still lack the motivation for regular work outs and often find myself requiring lots of sleep in order to avoid fatigue by 6pm… but maybe that’s everyone.

Generally speaking, if you tan easily and rarely burn like me, we probably share make-up and skincare needs.

Stay tuned for Seanna’s profile next!

– Lina

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Winter DIY Survival Kit

23 Jan

We have moved Oceans & Potions has gotten a new name and facelift! Visit us at the new site Elodie for more great content!

We have officially hit the middle of winter which means that I’m desperate for some remedies to get me through the next few months. Here are some of my homemade potions that will keep you hydrated and pampered all the way to spring.

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Jasmine and Vanilla Whipped Body Cream

Jasmine and Vanilla Whipped Body Cream

  • 2 oz mango butter
  • 1.5 oz cocoa butter
  • 1.5 oz apricot kernel oil
  • 0.5 oz beeswax
  • 0.5 oz vegetable glycerin
  • 5 drops jasmine essential oil
  • 5 drops vanilla essential oil

Method: Using a double boiler, melt mango butter, cocoa butter, and beeswax together. Once melted, take off of heat, add apricot kernel oil, vegetable glycerine and essential oils. Let cool until a crust starts to form on top of the oil mixture (the oils must be partially solid before the next step). Using a standing or hand mixer, whip on high until it reaches a stiff peak (this may take up to 5-7 minutes). Scoop into sterile jars* and store in a cool spot.

*Sterilizing containers and utensils before making natural and preservative- free products helps reduce the growth of bacteria.

Before you slather on your newly made body cream, try this first:

Mix 1/4 cup coconut oil, 2-3 tsp sweet almond oil, 1/4 cup of brown sugar and a dash of ground cinnamon*. Use this heavenly- scented, energizing scrub in the shower and follow up with a generous amount of body butter.

*Cinnamon applied topically to the skin is known to stimulate blood flow, increase circulation and has antiseptic properties. For those with overly sensitive skin, skip the cinnamon or test before to ensure that your skin does not react.

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Sweet Mint Lip Butter

Sweet Mint Lip Butter

  • 2 oz coconut oil
  • 1 oz beeswax
  • 1 oz sweet almond oil
  • 1 oz raw honey (note: liquid pasteurized honey does not substitute well)
  • 5-10 drops peppermint essential oil
  • 3-4 drops of vitamin E oil

Method: Using a double boiler (I like to use a glass measuring cup over a small pot), melt coconut oil and beeswax together. Once melted, take off of heat, add sweet almond oil, vitamin E and and peppermint essential oil. Whisk in raw honey. Set bowl onto an ice pack or in a bowl of ice cubes* and whisk until mixture begins to cool (it will thicken and the colour will lighten). Once the mixture has cooled so that it is thick, but still pourable, pour into sterilized lip balm tins.

*The raw honey even when melted maintains a different consistency than the oil and beeswax mixture. In order to ensure the honey and oils do not separate in your lip balm container, cooling and whisking is necessary for a uniform consistency.

Before you slather on your newly made lip butter, try this first:

Mix 1/4 tsp of coconut oil with 1/4 tsp of sugar. Rub generously onto lips and wipe off with a tissue. Follow up with an ample amount of lip butter. Your lips will thank you. . . and so will your loved one(s)!

Now. . . only 60 more days until spring. . . but who’s counting.

Seanna

Lina’s Eco-chic Makeup Bag

19 Jan

Hi Beauties!

As some of you have read, my recent clean beauty endeavours have centred on a green skincare routine that features DIY cleansers, fresh juice to beautify internally, and my secret weapon – the Clarisonic. In order to further enhance my natural features in a safe and effective way, I have also replaced the majority of my cosmetics with non-toxic alternatives.

So here’s a moment of truth – the current contents of my makeup bag:

LinaMakeupBag

Lina’s Eco-chic Make-up Bag

Top Row – Left to Right

DIY Lip and Skin Balm – I customized this homemade, multipurpose cream for use on my entire face which includes key ingredients like coconut oil and shea butter that are ideal for my skin type. You can also add a little beeswax if you prefer a firmer texture.

Ilia Lipstick: Both Seanna and I have discussed our successes with the Ilia brand of lipstick, which remains my favourite in comparison to some of it’s more affordable counterparts. I’m still wearing the colour in “Femme Fatale”.

The Healthy Deodorant: Tossing my aluminum-based antiperspirants for this solid-stick by Lavanila was sheer genius. Despite it’s hefty price tag, I love the vanilla-lavender scent and its superior protection throughout the entire day. Plus the packaging is cute 😉

Eminence Tinted Moisturizer in Caramel Latte: Another O&P rave that we highly recommend, especially in the winter months when the last thing you want to add to your AM make-up routine is sunscreen.

Herban Essentials Towelette: These wipes sanitize, moisturize, and disinfect with the use of natural oils! I personally use the eucalyptus towelette to freshen up after yoga but, as you can see, the possibilities are endless: http://www.herbanessentials.com/product/Eucalyptus

10ml Lime Pure Essential Oil by Edens Garden: Perhaps my greatest greenbeauty achievement – swapping travel-size perfume bottles for pocket-size essential oils! My hubby got me this beautiful set over the holidays, and I instantly fell in love with the idea. The tiny bottles are colourful and compact, easy to carry around and switch up whenever you’re ready for a new scent. If you can’t apply essential oil directly on your skin, you can mix a carrier oil into the fragrance of your choice instead.

Jane Iredale Shimmer Powder in “Rose Gold”/ eye- liner pencil in “Basic Black”: 24-Karat Gold Dust by Jane Iredale works great with Eminence’s Moisturizer, providing the ultimate sun-kissed glow in the dead of winter! And who could resist a classic black eye-liner that contains all ingredients that I can actually pronounce. These are must-haves.

Dead Sea Premier Buffing Block: This was my first purchase from the GRATiAE Organic Skin Care store that just opened in Toronto. The buffing block uses *pure silk* to completely remove all lines and ridges from nails, leaving them super smooth with a natural gloss and lasting shine. For me, this product is ideal because I work in an office yet often slack on painting my nails.

3 easy steps to presentable natural nails. No polish required!

3 easy steps to presentable natural nails. No polish required!

I’ll admit, there are some mainstream products not pictured above – i.e. Dior Extase mascara – that I continue to use on a regular basis, mainly because I’m still looking for a suitable replacement. However, I’m confident that I will eventually find the perfect brands and adapt the techniques of a proper holistic beauty approach…exclusively. Thanks for allowing me to reflect on some of my choices in the meantime!

And so the journey continues…

– Lina

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