Making Your Own Cosmetics

I am sort of on the fence about cosmetics.  Admittedly, I love them.  However, I don’t wear them much, other than lipstick , which my sweetie loves in red, he tells me, AND I won’t wear any cosmetic products that contain harmful ingredients or that are manufactured by companies that test on animals.

That said, I’d like to show you a quick and easy tutorial to make your own lipstick.  Mind you, please check first, before using your eye shadow, to make sure that it was not tested on animals, and try to use a lip balm made with soy, coconut, jojoba or other oils that are not carcinogenic.

As I mentioned previously, I went to the Portland Veg Fest last weekend, and while there, I purchased a book by Sunny Subramanian and Crystle Fiedler called, “The Compassionate Chick’s Guide to DIY Beauty.”  You can pick up a used copy for around $10, on Amazon by clicking  HERE.

screen-shot-2016-10-27-at-11-18-16-am

The book contains 125 recipes for vegan, gluten-free, cruelty-free makeup, skin and hair products. In this book, Sunny explains why animal testing is cruel,unnecessary and inaccurate, so there really is no need to buy products that have been tested on animals.  It is pointless, unless you get some perverse pleasure from harming innocent animals.  There are, after all, alternatives to animal testing that are far more accurate in their results.

Ingredients to Avoid

In her book, Sunny discloses some of the ingredients that should be avoided when purchasing cosmetics, and reminds us that by making our own DIY cosmetics, we can control what goes on oru skin and screen out any harmful ingredients such as :

  • BHA
  • BHT
  • Coal Tar Dyes
  • DEA
  • Triethanolamine
  • Dibutyl Phthalate
  • DMDM Hydantion
  • Formaldehyde
  • Hydroquione
  • Lead
  • Methylisothaizolinone
  • Nanoparticles that can penetrate the lungs
  • Propylene Glycol
  • Petroleum Products
  • Other Harmful Ingredients

I don’t often wear foundation.  Instead, I don’t smoke, and I drink a lot of water and my skin feels soft and is relatively wrinkle free, for my age.

To help even out my skin tone, I buy a natural Papaya mask (that smells like heaven) from a company on Amazon called, “Ladybug“.  This stuff is absolutely wonderful, despite its mixed reviews.  It smells good enough to eat, too.

If you want to make your own foundation, that is easy also, with just some jojoba oil, Vitamin E oil and some powder made from rice flour that Sunny’s book talks about.  Really folks, I do recommend this book.  However, if you’re looking for a visual aid to make your own all-natural, organic powder foundation, watch this:

I make an all-natural liquid foundation that works really well, if you don’t mind keeping it in the fridge, since it contains no preservatives.  The base of it contains:

To this, I add various colorants, such as beet powder, mica powder, cocoa powder  and other all-natural colorants, depending on what I’m trying to achieve. Mix everything well, then store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.  This is the type of thing you just have to experiment with until you get the color that you want.   It turns out really well….as good, in fact, as the MAC foundation that I used to pay $38 a pop for, but lighter and less greasy feeling.

As a hair conditioner, I simply put about a tablespoon of coconut oil in my hair before I go to bed at night.  This, too, smells wonderful, and I wash it out the following morning with a gentle Aveda all-natural shampoo.  If I get a case of the frizzies, a small dab of coconut oil or Argon oil does the trick.

Finally, if you want to create your own all-natural scent, give this 3-ingredient recipe a try.  I use DoTerra Essential Oils, but you can use any combination of any brand that you like.

The Internet is a wonderful source for finding recipes for making your own cosmetics.  Give it a try, if you don’t pick up a copy of Sunny’s book.  I think you’ll love what you discover.

Save

Save

Boutonniere Inspirations for a Wedding

Long ago and far away, I worked as a freelance wedding planner.  My specialty was economical weddings in dramatic settings, such as beach weddings, foreign destination weddings and weddings in authentic Texas locations.  I once planned an elegant wedding in an old Austin Texas  barn, attended by some famous C&W musicians.   As they invited me to participate in the wedding celebration, we all had the times of our lives. The juxtaposition of elegant finery contrasted with the rustic elements provided by the barn was just perfect, and I was rewarded handsomely for my efforts.

Screen Shot 2016-08-15 at 9.57.59 AM

As part of my promo literature at the time, I gave tips about wedding attire, honeymoon accommodations and other useful things.  What follows is some advice I had for boutonniere inspirations.:

Screen Shot 2016-08-15 at 9.52.10 AM

Nothing can quite add the panache to a groom’s wedding attire  like the classic style embodied his boutonniere. This traditional symbol worn on the lapel of the groom’s jacket is a gesture brimming with meaning that reaches  far beyond the flower itself. Boutonnieres symbolize beauty. They symbolize the fragility of life, and love undefined all captured in a single blossom.

Screen Shot 2016-08-15 at 10.01.27 AM

Classic Wedding

A classic wedding calls for a classic symbol. A single red rose boutonniere with, perhaps, a tiny spray of baby’s breath embodies all of the characteristics any bride could wish for in a groom. The red rose symbolizes courage, sincere love, respect and a hearty congratulations to the happy couple. The baby’s breath symbolizes everlasting and undying love.

Screen Shot 2016-08-15 at 10.02.43 AM

Beach Wedding

Keeping things natural at a beach wedding is the way to go. Tiny white lily boutonnieres trimmed with raffia and miniature seashells can add a nice touch, or for something more ornate,  earthy boutonnieres with lavender, green blueberries, wax flowers and rosemary can add a subtle, yet beautiful touch the blends right in with a stunning ocean environment.

Western Style Wedding

A sunset wedding on the ranch, or at the beach, calls for shades of yellow with a boutonniere made from dusty miller, billy balls and handmade wooden button flowers tied with twine. This is a winning combination that can dress up any groom’s lapel without going over the top.

Screen Shot 2016-08-15 at 9.59.15 AM

Castle or Mansion Wedding

Any  groom can  look like a prince in a beautiful purple boutonniere made of royal ranunculus buds and rose hips that are wrapped with white or purple velvet ribbon.

High Desert Wedding

Ranunculus and rice flowers in soft desert pinks, corals and yellows are a perfect combination for a high desert wedding boutonniere. An alternative choice is silvery brunia and tiny, mint green succulents wrapped in a pale pastel ribbon.

Elegant Cocktail Lounge Wedding

Imagine the beauty of an elegant cocktail lounge wedding atop a skyscraper overlooking the glittering lights of the city. What better boutonniere could adorn the groom’s lapel than one inspired by the fresh ingredients and herbs found in the fine spirits that are served there. An aromatic boutonniere made from cinnamon sticks, Douglas fir, hops, bay laurel, grains, juniper and rosemary will be the highlight of the groom’s suit.

Hawaiian Wedding

Hawaii is one of the most popular destination wedding locations in the world. The groom will fit right in with a simple orchid boutonniere, or, for a little more flare, a boutonniere made of astrantias and jasmine blooms against a background of local foliage.

Remember, a successful wedding celebration is all about the details.  The marriage?  That’s all about the couple.

Save

Bitten by the Mosaic Bug…Again

Screen Shot 2016-06-29 at 8.50.37 AM

This year, I have again been asked to participate with a plethora of other international mosaic artists, in the 2017 Beyond Borders auction.  All proceeds go to benefit Doctors Without Borders , an organization that helps people in third world countries receive medical care to which they would not otherwise not have access.

For Doctors Without Borders, the ability to respond quickly to medical humanitarian emergencies is crucial to saving more lives. Unrestricted funds allows the organization to allocate their resources most efficiently and where the needs are greatest.  This is a good cause, my friends. I hope you will attend the virtual auction and find something you like, because the money really helps a lot of people.  Plus, there are some incredibly talented artists and many pieces from which to choose.

As I anticipate the design of this year’s piece, I am mindful of the fact that I have a whole lot on my plate right now with opening my retreat business and continuing my writing business…but I cannot function properly without art.  I have to have it, at some level, which is  why my sketchbook never leaves my side when I’m lounging in the evenings.   I miss working in mosaic, and am going to get back into it. It is hard work, but it is something that I truly love.  I love glass especially.  I love its properties.  I love the way it cuts, and how the light dances across its surfaces.

I have one project started already, which I can probably finish up fairly quickly.  I am building it on a wooden substrate and it is already extremely heavy.  After it is finished, it will probably weigh up to 12-13 pounds.

Screen Shot 2016-06-29 at 9.14.15 AM

Other than the round “globs” (as they are called…..those white, round pieces that you see on the tips of the wings…) each piece of glass was hand cut and placed by me.  I am now working on the body, and haven’t quite decided what approach I’m going to take with it.  I may end up painting part of it, because the surface is so uneven.  The underside is all gold  and blue tiles, and is very sparkly!  The grout will unify all of the sections and pull the piece together.

The wings are asymmetrical, so getting a balanced look was difficult to achieve.  The OCD in me hates the fact that the dark blue colors aren’t symmetrical, but after it’s all grouted, it will look better.

I really hate to grout, but after one applies the mud and begins to wipe it off, that is when the magic happens, and that is what transforms the piece into a work of art.  I am excitited bout this one.

I am getting ready to begin a couple of other pieces as well.  One celebrates a new life, and the other,  honors a life ended.  My cousin, Daina, is getting ready to become a grandmother on Juy 3rd, so I am making the new baby a small mosaic for his or her nursery.  I’m thinking about a white star….or a pastel colored heart.  Still considering what I will make.  It will be something simple, fast and easy.

The other piece will be for my friend, Sarah Beth, who left this world recently, in a tragic, tragic way.  Her loss is a tremendous one, and weighs heavily on my head and heart. She was my friend for more than 40 years.   I am, at this time, working on a design for a three dimensional encasement for her ashes.  She always wanted a home with children, so I might do a house-shaped piece. Not sure.  This is a tough call. I need to get past the point of crying every time I think of her death, before I can proceed, but I feel that working on this particular piece will help the healing process.   (That theory was the foundation of my thesis when I got my masters in Psychology.)

So….today is another day.  I am working this morning.  John and I are getting ready to go out for a long walk with our puppy.  Then, my friend, Baranna, is coming over for a few hours this afternoon.  Anticipating a good day….because, after all, life goes on…with us or without us.

 

 

 

 

Save

Save

Happy Birthday to Me

We celebrated my birthday two days ago with a beautiful array of activities and interactions with friends and family.

Screen Shot 2015-11-17 at 7.04.09 AM

The day began with a beautiful 3 a.m. text  message greeting that made my heart sing, accompanied by a funny, musical phone message so garbled that I could barely hear it, because of the bad connection, but it still made me smile.   Things just kept getting better and better throughout the day. Phone calls….gifts….beautiful gestures made by various people.  I truly felt loved.

Screen Shot 2015-11-17 at 9.08.01 AM

John had arranged a beautiful brunch cruise along the Willamette River aboard a yacht.  The weather was cold and overcast, but the sun broke out from time to time, making the trip absolutely perfect.  The yacht was three stories tall, and we periodically strolled from deck to deck, enjoying live jazz and beautiful scenery.

Screen Shot 2015-11-18 at 10.57.03 AM

Here is a little video of the cruise:

Ingrid , shown below with her glass of sparkling apply juice, was the star of the show when she sang happy birthday to me.

Screen Shot 2015-11-18 at 10.59.28 AM

I cried from the sweetness of this gesture, which was something that she cooked up herself.  As you can see, the crowd was also touched by this.    I love how she bends that note at the beginning of the song.  So cute!

 

John enjoyed the gorgeous scenery as much as I did.

Screen Shot 2015-11-17 at 8.00.08 AM

The food was exquisite, and we had delicious, fresh mimosas to go with.

Screen Shot 2015-11-17 at 8.03.06 AM

Screen Shot 2015-11-18 at 11.02.21 AM

The whole trip lasted around 2.5 hours.  It was peaceful, beautiful, and much appreciated by this birthday girl….and by a little piggy (shown below).

Screen Shot 2015-11-17 at 9.15.18 AM

Afterward, we attended an awesome art show, which I found wholly inspiring.  Then, we went to my daughter’s house for a traditional dinner.  She baked the most delicious coconut cake for me, which Ingrid decorated with pretty gold candles.

Screen Shot 2015-11-17 at 8.43.38 AM

I felt truly blessed this year….truly loved and deeply happy, knowing that those who took the time out of their lives to acknowledge my birth really love me.  Sometimes, I feel like the luckiest woman alive.   This was one of those perfect birthdays that I will never forget.  Many thanks to my family and to my friends who made it all possible.

How to Talk to Your Daughter About Her Body

This is so, so good….and I’m really proud of my daughter, Sarah, an excellent mother herself, and of my son-in-law, Nate, one of the best fathers ever,  for taking this approach with Ingrid….who is a strong, dynamic child. However, as a grandmother, I can’t help but tell this child that she is beautiful…frequently….because she is. Inside and out….but I do try to stress her intellect and personal strengths over her outward appearance.

Nothing wrong with feeling pretty, but when women are made to think that this gives them their primary  value in life, that is where the problems begin.

Read this and think about it carefully….

The Cosmic Dancer's photo.

How to talk to your daughter about her body, step one:

Don’t talk to your daughter about her body, except to teach her how it works.

Don’t say anything if she’s lost weight. Don’t say anything if she’s gained weight.

If you think your daughter’s body looks amazing, don’t say that. Here are some things you can say instead:

“You look so healthy!” is a great one.

Or how about, “You’re looking so strong.”

“I can see how happy you are — you’re glowing.”

Better yet, compliment her on something that has nothing to do with her body.

Don’t comment on other women’s bodies either. Nope. Not a single comment, not a nice one or a mean one.

Teach her about kindness towards others, but also kindness towards yourself.

Don’t you dare talk about how much you hate your body in front of your daughter, or talk about your new diet. In fact, don’t go on a diet in front of your daughter. Buy healthy food. Cook healthy meals. But don’t say, “I’m not eating carbs right now.” Your daughter should never think that carbs are evil, because shame over what you eat only leads to shame about yourself.

Encourage your daughter to run because it makes her feel less stressed. Encourage your daughter to climb mountains because there is nowhere better to explore your spirituality than the peak of the universe. Encourage your daughter to surf, or rock climb, or mountain bike because it scares her and that’s a good thing sometimes.

Help your daughter love soccer or rowing or hockey because sports make her a better leader and a more confident woman. Explain that no matter how old you get, you’ll never stop needing good teamwork. Never make her play a sport she isn’t absolutely in love with.

Prove to your daughter that women don’t need men to move their furniture.

Teach your daughter how to cook kale.

Teach your daughter how to bake chocolate cake made with six sticks of butter.

Pass on your own mom’s recipe for Christmas morning coffee cake. Pass on your love of being outside.

Maybe you and your daughter both have thick thighs or wide ribcages. It’s easy to hate these non-size zero body parts. Don’t. Tell your daughter that with her legs she can run a marathon if she wants to, and her ribcage is nothing but a carrying case for strong lungs. She can scream and she can sing and she can lift up the world, if she wants.

Remind your daughter that the best thing she can do with her body is to use it to mobilize her beautiful soul.