MIY (Make-it-Yourself) Designer Ballet Flats

I found this great budget busting, make-it-yourself idea in InStyle UK yesterday and just had to share it with you! What a clever way to transform a sad pair of ballet flats into designer lookalikes!

In the June issue of InStyle, Aleksandra Olenska recommends attaching vintage clip-on earrings to ballet flats and the picture of their cranberry red flats with 4 black and silver earrings did look incredibly chic.

I’ve tried to do my best with my tired and rather self-conscious pair of old black wannabe ballet flats, circa 1999 (at least 20 in shoe years and positively archaic for some shoe loving girls). I picked up the 2 pairs of vintage earrings today in Islington for under £5 and think they look quite pretty.

Once I get some new vegan ballet flats and start adorning them with various earrings for each day of the week, there will be no stopping me. I’m on a vintage earring treasure hunt now…

Need some inspiration to create your own bejewelled ballet flats? Visit Net-a-Porter for some designer ideas (Miu Miu in particular).

12 Natural Beauty Tips for Summer

Peppermint Tea Toner
Next time you’re brewing a cup of peppermint tea, be sure to make a little extra because you can use it as an ultra cooling spray and toner. Once the tea has cooled, pour it into a spray / spritz bottle, refrigerate and then spritz when and as you need throughout your day. The perfect way to stay refreshed during summer!

 

Organic Peppermint tea bags available from Clipper Teas or try loose leaf Organic Peppermint Tea from £4.75 – Steenbergs Organic.

 

Treat the Tresses
Overexposure to the sun can leave your hair dry and brittle, so summer is definitely the time to treat the tresses with moisturising oils and hair masks. Try massaging a small amount of either coconut oil or jojoba oil into the scalp and hair and leave for 30 minutes or so before you shampoo out.

For another fuss free way to feed your hair, try mashing one banana with two tablespoons of olive oil and leave for 30 minutes before rinsing out. Or try the Coconut Cream Rinse described by Barbara Close in The Spa Deck. You will need coconut milk, honey and a fresh vanilla bean (fresh grated coconut meat is also recommended but there’s no way I’ll get that together).

 

No Sweaty Bettys
Many aluminium eschewing girls get slightly nervous during the summer months, worrying that their natural deodorant won’t carry them through a hot summer’s day sufficiently. I have found the best natural deodorant to be Weleda’s Citrus Deodorant which is the perfect aroma for summer and also doubles as a lovely body spray (I even read Kate Hudson used Weleda’s rose spray deodorant as a hair spray but I haven’t tried doing this yet). If you want to go a step further towards natural beauty, you could try using bicarbonate of soda or lemon slices (apparently some Mediterranean women do this). I have tried both and found the bicarb soda to be particularly effective.

 

grapefruit-pink-essential-oilGrapefruit Body Spray
I noticed the other day that Origins do a Grapefruit body mist that sounded quite sublime for this time of year, but I wonder if an organic and pure version of this exists? Perhaps a spritz bottle, distilled water and some organic grapefruit essential oil could achieve similar results? I haven’t tried it yet but I imagine a spritz of grapefruit mist now and then throughout a hot and humid day, would be quite blissful! Grapefruit Essential Oil available at Akamuti for £2.50.

Summer Make Up
A girl’s beauty kit needs to be reviewed during summer to accommodate the sheen, shine and grime that comes from the summer weather. Firstly, switch heavy foundations for tinted moisturisers. There are some incredible natural tinted moisturisers available (3 Great Natural Tinted Moisturisers Reviewed) but if you don’t want to spend money on those, why not try ‘diluting’ your foundation by mixing it with a moisturiser you are already using. This is an easy and cost effective way to recreate the same light but effective coverage a tinted moisturiser provides. Suki Tinted Active Moisturiser available at Your Natural Beauty Store for £24.99

Switch powdered blushes for cream based ones. Suki Color Pure Cream Stain is a fantastic little pot to carry with you as it adds a soft and flattering dab of colour to the cheeks and lips.

tan-with-teaTan with Tea
Apparently you can tan your skin with tea. You can use black tea and either wring the tea bag out before swiping over the body (as recommended by Daily Candy) or pour black tea into a spritz bottle for a truly natural spray tan. I also read in Healthy and Organic Living magazine that taking a rooibos tea bath is another way to tan the skin and get a healthy glow. Organic Rooibos Tea, from Clipper Teas or Steenbergs Organic, from £2.65

 

Foot Soak
Green girls may not have an organic or natural nail salon in their city and therefore cannot enjoy the luxury of getting an organic pedicure. You can try and replicate the experience at home though by using a small tub and filling it with water, essential oils like peppermint, salt to detoxify and even some chopped cucumbers and orange and lemon slices! Play a little Colbie Caillat and let the stresses of the day evaporate away. To finish off the natural home pedicure experience, exfoliate the feet with an olive oil and salt scrub and then apply a moisturiser such as shea butter or coconut oil.

 

Get Your Bali On
For girls who have spent the day in the sun or just desire a Balinese twinged treat for dry skin, try Badger Balm’s Bali Balm. It contains cocoa and shea butters, jojoba and olive oils with essential oils of ylang ylang, lime, lavender and sweet orange. Available at Badger Balm for $10 or So Organic for £4.39

Buff that Bod
Shorter skirts, shorts, dresses and sleeveless tops require a lot more skin to be revealed during summer, so it’s a good idea to exfoliate your body to keep your skin looking its best. To save money on expensive body exfoliants and scrubs, try making your own concoctions at home. Here a few ideas:

  • ground rice and coconut milk
  • brown sugar and sweet almond oil
  • salt, olive oil and your favourite organic essential oil

citrus-oilCitrus Body Oil
Try making your own lush body oil at home with a base of either sweet almond, jojoba or sesame oil and then add your favorite summer soaked essential oils such as lemon, lime, mandarin, neroli, orange or bergamot. If you can’t vacation in beautiful Mediterranean locations such as Sicily and Capri, at least you can capture the scent of a sizzling island.

Sweet Feet
Your feet need extra care during summer. They’ve spent winter and spring hidden away in thick socks and boots and then all of a sudden they are thrust into the world and poked into skimpy, intricate, strappy sandals! No wonder they rebel and give you blisters and iffy looking heels. Try to lather the feet with nourishing moisturisers such as shea butter or coconut oil each night and you should have pretty tootsies in no time!

Beach Babe Hair
If you want beach tussled waves that usually come courtesy of daily swims in the ocean and good genetics, you could try John Masters Organics Sea Mist Salt Spray with Lavender. It contains only three ingredients: water, sea salt and organic lavender oil. I’m going to try and make a version of this at home and hope my hair looks Copacabana ready. Speaking of Brazil, I read a hair tip from Brazilian supermodel, Gisele Bunchen that needs to be shared. She recommended flipping your hair over your head and then gently holding the ends of the hair and shaking it from side to side before flipping the hair back. It sounds too simple to be true, but I’ve tried it and amazingly it does give your hair a more full, tousled and beach wavey look! Try it and see what you think.

Budget Beauty – 13 Natural Skin Care Tips

Bee Cleansed
The day I learned I could cleanse my face with honey was a happy day for me (slightly sad, I know). I love beauty treats that are edible and that are already in your home. I thought honey would leave me in one big sticky mess but you just need to splash your face with a little water before applying a dollop of organic honey to the face and then carry on as you would with a normal cleanser. Honey is wonderful for the skin due to its antibacterial properties and it is often used to heal burns and wounds.

What Kate Said…
Kate Beckinsale reportedly uses a hot towel with a few drops of lavender oil on her face as a soothing treat for the skin (and a little pore pampering) – as mentioned in InStyle.

almond-oilEye Makeup, Be Gone!
You don’t need a special eye make up remover to wipe away stubborn mascara, eyeshadows, concealer and eyeliner residue. A swipe of sweet almond oil or coconut oil will do just as good a job, if not better and it is much more gentle and nourishing for the skin. You could apply the oil to an organic cotton pad to remove eye makeup or to be even more eco-friendly, apply the oil to the eye area with your fingers (careful not to drag the delicate skin under the eye) and then gently remove with a moist flannel or cloth.

To Tone or Not To Tone
That is the profound question many girls ask themselves as they go through their daily beauty routine of cleanse, tone (will I, won’t I?) and moisturise. Some people think toner is like bottled water in a restaurant (completely unnecessary) while others believe toner is great for removing the last traces of makeup or grime. Whatever your thoughts, there can be no harm in trying organic Apple Cider Vinegar as a toner and seeing the benefits it has on your skin. This is potent and rather ‘on the nose’ stuff but hey, us girls are used to suffering in the name of beauty and this product is so pure and beneficial to the skin, that it is worth it. Just dilute the Apple Cider Vinegar with equal parts distilled water or green tea and then apply as you would a normal toner.

Mist Before Moisturising
This a new beauty tip I recently picked up and it will help your moisturiser absorb better into the skin and basically help your moisturiser, ‘do it’s thang!’ Just spritz your face with your own spray bottle filled with distilled water and favourite essential oil or the chilled peppermint tea, as mentioned last week.

argan-oil
Moisturise with Oils

You may think oils will leave your skin too shiny or greasy if you use them as a moisturiser but try and experiment with various skin-friendly organic oils such as:

  • Pomegranate
  • Argan Oil
  • Sweet almond oil (apparently a favourite of Liz Hurley)
  • Coconut oil (which I heard was a wrinkle fighter so I’ve started applying this to my eyes, mouth, neck and decolletage).

As I’ve written before, I’ve been loving Akamuti’s Raspberry Seed Oil of late and have found it to be a great day moisturiser for my skin. Once you find an oil that suits your skin, you’ll realise you don’t always need a store bought moisturiser with numerous ingredients when a pure and simple, organic oil can be just as beneficial.

Fuss-Free Masks
One area of your beauty routine that you can really save money on is your weekly face mask. You can be resourceful and use what is already in the kitchen but I like to keep it super simple, as I don’t have the time or inclination to blend exotic fruits, nuts, oils with a sprinkle and a dash of 15 essential oils I do not own! So here are two easy masks for dry and oily skin.

Dry: Mashed avocado
Oily: Mashed banana (honey and / or lemon optional)

Before you toss the avocado and banana skins away, remember to swipe them over your face. I’ve tried this with a banana skin and your face feels really taught and terrific afterwards.

exfoliateExfoliate with Three Ingredients!
You should ideally exfoliate your face 2-3 times a week to remove dead skin cells and all that lovely stuff. This is another simple, easy to whip together beauty recipe that only calls for organic oats, honey and an oil (such as sweet almond oil). These three ingredients create an ideal exfoliant that is gentle, moisturising and nourishing. I have also heard of using bicarbonate of soda as an exfoliant but I have yet to try this one!

Feeling Spotty
Rather than reaching for a teeny bottle of spot-zapping liquid with an ingredient list that is usually bigger than the bottle it comes in, try something simple, natural and equally effective – lavender oil. I usually apply a bit of this neat to the offending area and it helps sort things out.

Eye Spy…
‘Puffy’ and ‘dark circles’ are not the words you want to use to describe your eyes but if these two traits are problems for you, you may want to try some natural remedies.

Tea bags
Before you toss your teabags into the compost bin (I know you have), whip them into the fridge to chill and then place them over the eyes for a de-puffing delight! Try chamomile for soothing or peppermint for cooling.

cucumbers-for-skin-careCucumbers
An oldie but a goodie (especially when you’ve just tossed together a delicious salad and have leftovers). A slice or two feels lovely and cooling for sore, irritated eyes.

Potato, Avocado and Aztecs
I believe potato slices are good for reducing redness under the eyes, while avocado slices are used to reduce puffiness (a treatment reputedly used by the Aztecs). I also read an Ayurvedic recipe and idea that suggested applying sweet almond oil and honey nightly for several weeks to improve dark eye circles.

Ice is Nice
Here I go again, rattling off something I read or saw in a magazine. This time, my beauty tale comes from O Magazine where I read how this lady plunged her face into a sink of ice cubes each morning. As fun as that sounds to someone like me who can still feel chilly during a hot summer’s day, the picture of this ice-loving lady’s face was proof enough. Her skin was positively sparkling! I’ve also heard of people sliding an ice cube all over their face and loving the results. Either way, I think it’s safe to say that ice is nice.

Sweet Lips
If you need to exfoliate your lips, try some brown sugar and honey!

Healing Hands
If like me, you are queen of the dish washing in your house, you may find that your hands are beginning to look like they belong to someone ‘more mature’ than you. If that’s the case, try and exfoliate your hands several times a week with a bit of olive oil and sea salt. It’s so easy to quickly reach for these two ingredients after you’ve done the dishes and your hands will look and feel lovely afterwards!