Tuesday, February 17, 2015

No-poo method: baking soda and apple cider vinegar

Hello beautiful people! 
Today, I am teaching you all how to stop using poo, shampoo that is. 
I began using this method about a month ago and my hair has never thanked me so much before now. In middle school, when I discovered products and stopped wanting to use whatever my mom brought home for me, i was pulled into the consumer market. I was easily convinced that I HAD to have twenty different hair products to look pretty. Just for any of you who may still believe this, it is NOT true. In the past few years, I have switched to only using natural shampoo and conditioners, but the price was too much for me considering how often I had to purchase it. I was sure there was a better, natural way for me to clean my hair, so I found it. 

This method is extremely simple, but everyone is always freaked out by it because there are no harsh chemicals. Will it work? How will I wash the oils out of my hair? Does it smell bad? I shall answer all of the questions I have heard from those who know I use this method. 

Supplies you will need: 
-2 bottles (32 oz. would be best), a small squirt lid is most convenient, but not necessary  
-a funnel
-apple cider vinegar
-baking soda 
-a measuring cup 

Start with the bottle for the baking soda rinse. 
Stick the funnel into the lid 
Fill the bottle HALFWAY** with water (tap is fine unless you are just freaked out by tap water). 
Pour in 1 tbsp. of baking soda per cup of water your bottle can hold. 
For example, if your bottle is 32 oz., pour in 4 tbsp. baking soda. 
Fill the remainder of the bottle with water. 
Replace the lid. 
Shake until everything appears to have dissolved. 

**I say halfway because since you are using a funnel, if you fill the bottle all the way to the top with water, the funnel will have water in it and your baking soda will not go in. 

Next, fill your second bottle completely with water. 
Pour this water into your measuring cup. 
Take a look to see how much water is there (mine was 2.5 cups). 
Determine how much vinegar you will need to put in, 1/4 cup per cup of water. 
Pour out that amount of the water. 
Pour in the apple cider vinegar to replace the water you just poured out. 
 Stick the funnel in the bottle. 
Pour this mixture in the bottle. 
Replace the lid. 

After you have the finished product, it only takes about 5 minutes to do all of this, although the instructions seemed much longer, hop into the shower. This amount of product lasts me one week, washing my hair every single day. I have super thick hair and a lot of it, plus I am part Japanese so it gets oily everyday. 

You are going to wet all of your hair very well. Take the baking soda bottle, situate the squirt tip against your scalp. Yes, this sounds weird, but the best way to do this is to get it close onto your scalp. I use my right hand to pour this on and my left hand to part sections of my hair as I pour. Cover your entire head, then massage with your fingertips everywhere. Leave this in for a minute or so- I usually wash my face and then rinse it out. Then follow ASAP with the vinegar rinse. 

For the vinegar rinse, tilt your head back- you DO NOT want vinegar water in your eyes- and slowly pour a small amount of this onto your head. Again, massage this through with your fingertips, and rinse. The bottle I use for the vinegar rinse is about half the size of the one I use for the baking soda rinse because you really do not need much of the vinegar rinse. 

If you have any questions about this method, feel free to comment below. 

Now that I have been using this method for a while, I am really interested in switching to this method. With this method, you only wash your hair with water. Although this freaks out many people who have developed attachments to hair products, I have been slowly working up to this for over a year now. I am going to college in just a few short months and I have been looking for less expensive ways of taking care of my body.  The key to transforming your lifestyle to such a natural route is taking it slowly. If you use chemical shampoos right now, switch to a more natural brand, then after you finish a bottle of that, switch to the baking soda method for a month or two, then try the water only method. This is what I have been working up to. I will share this journey with you all once it begins. I plan to finish this bottle of the baking soda method by the end of this week and I will begin the water-only method. 

Thanks, hope y'all enjoyed!! 

P.S.- I met my roommate over the weekend!!!!! She is so kind, funny, and we are freakishly similar. The excitement for college to begin is overwhelming! 3 more months until I graduate from high school. Time is absolutely flying!! 

Friday, February 13, 2015

DIY: all natural deodorant- bentonite clay

Hello There beautiful people, 
I hope everyone had a wonderful week! 

Today, I received my Redmond Bentonite Clay powder in the mail (finally!). As soon as I got it, I hurriedly put together my ingredients to snap a few pictures before I completely lost the sunlight of the day. I discovered this recipe a few months ago on a blog I follow, Overthrow Martha, and I have been waiting to use all of my deodorants I had already purchased. 

I have to say, I hate store-bought aluminum deodorants and I am glad that I tried the Honest company deodorant, but it has been extremely unsatisfactory for me. I really like the smell and the fact that the white stain on my armpits and clothing is now gone, but it does not work for me. The product goes on well and dries quickly, but it only smells good for 1-2 hours and then it is as if I never put any deodorant on. However, since I paid for this product, I have now been using it as air freshener and it does quite a good job at that. 

Thus, I am finally making this natural deodorant with few, simple ingredients that most people already have sitting at home (except the powdered clay...I assume that's not a common household item). 

Here is what you will need: 

-a Mason jar 
-a plastic** spoon, tablespoon measurement
-a plastic** utensil for stirring (a knife would work well) 
-2 tablespoons Bentonite Clay powder (linked above)
-4 tablespoons arrowroot powder (if you cannot find this, use baking powder)
-4 tablespoons baking soda
-6 tablespoons coconut oil
-10 drops of essential oil-this part is optional, I suggest lavender, peppermint, or 
anything else very mild and calming 

**I am being so weird about using plastic because the clay will absorb anything metal that it touches and I am pretty sure you don't want metal armpits. However, this is a beneficial thing if you are using food-grade clay and planning to ingest it. Clay pulls heavy metals out of our bodies and helps to detoxify, so it's great on the inside, bad when make something clay with metal. Also, Mason jars do have metal lids, simply be careful not to bring these into contact-this should be very simple. 

How to make it...the method I used: 

-Put 2 cups of water in a tea kettle to begin boiling. 
-Measure all of the powders into a glass bowl.
-Measure the coconut oil into a glass bowl. 
-Pour the now boiling water into a different bowl, place the glass bowl, with coconut oil in it, into this one with hot water (double boiling method) This will melt your coconut oil. Please goodness do not try to melt your coconut oil in the microwave. Although it is much faster than boiling water on the stove, the oil is thicker than water so it will absorb radiation from the microwave and you could really damage your body. Also, this just messes with the beneficial structure of the oil. 
-Melt the oil completely, then drop in your essential oil (optional). 
- Pour the oil into the powders. 
-Stir until you have a soupy consistency and everything looks smooth. 
- Carefully, using a spatula to get all product out of the bowl, pour into your jar. 

Here are my dry powders in the Mason jar I used. 

Redmond clay powder (linked above) 

*When you stir everything together, place your body to the side of the bowl so you are not inhaling all of the powders as you make this product. 
*Use a silicon spatula to make sure no product is wasted in the transfer from bowl to jar. 
*Add 10-15 drops of essential oil and 5-10 more if you feel it is not scented enough. 

The clay powder looks very flaky and broken, but if you touch it with anything, it is very smooth and silky. I am going to make a face mask with this clay tomorrow...hint hint there will be a post on that. 

Here is my Whole Foods brand baking powder. 

This is the lavender essential oil I got from Whole Foods. I plan to order my essential oils online after now because I have found a more reliable brand that I believe is more natural and pure. The brand I am seeking to use is called Young Living. 

The jar I used is much bigger than what the original recipe called for, so I actually made about 2.5 times this recipe. For a rough estimate, the amount of product I used to make this, including the jar, cost around $3. Considering that deodorant now costs around $5 and one stick lasts 2-4 months, I think this is an incredible deal. The woman who originally published this said that one batch lasts her 4-6 months, so this should stick with me for quite a while. I am going to start using this tomorrow and I will let you all know how it works out in my clay mask tutorial post. Since the deodorant is coconut oil, it should easily rub onto your finger to be removed from the jar, and then easily melt into the skin. We shall see! 

Thank you all and I hope this has helped anyone who is looking for alternatives to chemical, aluminum deodorants. Have a wonderful weekend! I will see you all soon. 

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Drab to Fab in 60 seconds: Cute Planner DIY

Hi there beautiful people, 
As many of you know, I am going away to college next fall. This has inspired me to find many cute, inexpensive ways to make a small space into a largely functional, attractive space. I have fallen in love with washi tape and all of the things you can do with it. Since I plan to use it very often, I thought it would be a good idea to try it out at home. Here is my simple, inexpensive DIY. 

I purchased a simple planner and this washi tape from Target. I chose the solid black planner because it offered everything on the interior that I need, but it was cheaper than everything else because it does not have any design added to the exterior. 

You can use a ruler if you want to be exact with this, but I just eyeballed it when applying the tape. Choose your first color of tape and pull out a section slightly longer than the cover of the notebook. Using both hands, align this across the cover and gently press it down. 

Alternate each color in whatever pattern and order you prefer until the entire front is covered. Once you have everything in line (however neat you desire) you may now press down firmly and make sure each strip has adhered completely to the cover- you will be using this for an entire year (but you can easily replace this washi tape if it starts to fall apart). 

After completing the step above, you can turn the planner over so that the front is now face down. You will be working on the back of the front cover now. All you have to do here is gently fold the extra edges of the tape onto the back- I say gently because the tape will rip off if you pull too hard. 

Once you finish this, you have a beautiful planner that people will ask you about all year long. 

Here is my finished product. I hope you all enjoyed this short tutorial. If you decide to do this also, feel free to leave a comment below about how your planner turned out. 
Have a wonderful Friday! 

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Tuesday Wisdom....We're talking positive lifestyles

Hello Beautiful people! 
I am so excited to be here with you all on this lovely day. 

Earlier this afternoon, I watched a few  Youtube  videos and I found myself really happy and curious about the future. Now I could be Negative Nelly all the time and complain to you all about how the world is polluted, friendships haven't worked out, school is stressful, everything is too expensive, people are mean....blah, blah, blah.....but I am choosing to think on the bright side. 

I have found this incredible workout, pilates channel on youtube and it has helped me get into a routine of exercise, which is fantastic and really makes me feel even more alive. I think it's really important to start out slowly and at a level that you can accomplish because this will make you feel like you really can get more fit and toned. I find that exercise is so commonly depicted as a huge man with small dog-sized biceps lifting his female friend above his head with one hand while running on a treadmill. I just think the media has created such a fake image of most things, it freaks people out. Try not to have the idea set in your mind that you will reach your goal after one or two workouts. This is something that takes time and commitment and it will become a fun habit after a little while. Working out is so much fun, and this Blogilates channel provides incredible videos. Cassey, the woman who creates the channel, does all of the workouts with you and it really does work. Think positively and work in small, increasingly difficult increments and you really can do anything that you set your mind to. You can do it!  

Now, exercise tangent aside, let's talk about the life of a vegetarian and why I have chosen to take the all-natural road. Since I was very young (possibly even since I was an infant) I have had tummy problems. My body was created, I believe, to thrive off of natural, whole food ingredients and when I put artificial foods inside of my body, it gets very mad at me and makes this rather obvious. Thus, I became a vegetarian almost four years ago. As I hear from people all the time, mainly humans of the male variety, most people do not at all understand why, or how anyone could be a vegetarian for an extended period of time. Sure, for some people it just is not in the books to remove all meat from their diet and only use natural products to cleanse the body. For me, it has completely changed my life. 

I have had eczema my entire life, most of which was on the backs of my arms and hands. This left very red, splotchy dots that required many trips to the dermatologist every year. I believe I was prescribed every single medicine, lotion, cream, pill, etc. that the doctors could give me and nothing ever worked. A little over a year ago, I switched to only putting Dr.Bronner's fair trade organic soaps and coconut oil on my body and I have not had any eczema since then. I have not been to any dermatologists or waisted money on a single other chemical-filled lotion. For the past three weeks, I've used only baking soda and apple cider vinegar rinses on my hair and it has been so soft and frizz-free. What I am saying here is that you do not at all have to be roped into all of these consumer markets that tell you, "You will only be attractive/pretty if you use xyz." I was initially pulled right in, but I have easily found my way out. 

If you are thinking, "Goodness, there is no way I could ever do this, all of those organic soaps and rinses sound so expensive," you are in luck. It costs me about 45 cents to make a month worth of hair rinse. 4-5 months worth of coconut oil is about $7. The Dr.Bronner's soap I buy is 32 oz (4-6 months worth) and that's $14. Add all of these things up and it's around $70 for me to clean my body for one year. The average american spends $600 each year when buying chemical, manufactured products in the store. Obviously, I have not included makeup, essential oils, oral care, etc. into this budget, but clearly there is a significant difference in costs. 

The past 3-4 years of my life have been the most stressful, eventful, and absolutely incredible years thus far and transforming my life into the natural thing it was created to be has forever changed me. My outlook on the world is much different, my body has WAY more energy that is completely organic (I have never had an energy drink...I don't drink soda....never will....eww.), my skin is treating me much nicer than ever before, my brain functions at a higher level, I could just go on for hours about all of the positive changes this simple step has brought me. 

Now if all of these words are not enough to encourage you to take at least one step in this direction, that is fine, perhaps you just need some more time or convincing. Here is what I will state: do not let one other soul in this world pull you down, because once you are submissively laying in the depths of negativity your attitude and view of your surroundings will become just as negative as the people you never wished to become. 

Lift your head a bit higher, believe in yourself, and try to take one baby step closer to transforming your life into an incredible inspiration. You never know, maybe some day you will be able to influence that one person who simply needed to hear a positive word. 

Tomorrow, you shall see the wonderful planner makeover! 

If you have any questions or comments, feel free to shoot me an e-mail at hiddenbeauty970@gmail.com or simply leave a comment below. 
Thank you and I shall see all you beauties very soon! 

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Target & Whole Foods necessities

Hi there beautiful people! 

Last night, Friday, I went to Target and Whole Foods with my family. I had to pick up a few things that I ran out of last week. Here is a glimpse into what I call necessity. 

I am one of those people who has to have a watch. I am always on time-mainly early actually- and I feel naked when I do not have a watch on my wrist. My wonderful brother gave me a black Ironman for Christmas 2013 and it just died this week (these things are incredible). I decided to go with a blue color and a slightly thinner band. Also, glorious moment in my life, I was setting my watch this morning to the world clock and I got it down to the exact second...how awesome is that? Click here if you would like to purchase/learn more about this watch. 
I love this specific watch, I've been using these for years, because it is a silicon band, waterproof (I spill water a lot), and they always last me at least one year. 

Does it bother anyone else to have one of those planner calendars that are parts of one year? The old calendar I had was great, but it was half of 2014 and half 2015. In order to maintain my sanity and organization, I needed to go and get one that was only 2015. Added bonus, this calendar only has two days on each side of the paper, so the weeks don't run into other months (my old calendar would have some January days behind the February section because it had 5 days on each page). If you would like to have a super handy planner to carry around, click here. Also, if you want to make it super cute come back next week for my decorating post! 

I use apple cider vinegar as a rinse in my hair care routine. I just needed to pick this up since I ran out. There will be a fully detailed post on why and how I use this product in two weeks. I got the Target brand of vinegar because it was cheaper than everything else and also, in my mind at least, all vinegar is the same thing so I go for whatever is cheapest. If you are an apple cider vinegar specialist and you know a significant difference between Target brand and the fancy names, please comment below. 

SNEAK PEEK!! I am planning on using TONS of washi tape to bring some life to my college dorm (we can't do much to the furniture or walls, so tape is a safe way to go) and I wanted to experiment with it before I pick out those. I used these colors to decorate my plain black planner (I got black for a reason y'all!). If you want to jump on this boat, washi tape has gotten super popular lately. They are always running low when I go into the store. 

Pff...so I got some undies. A girl has to do what she has to do, ya know? I always get Hanes undies because they are the softest and fit me the best. I'm not super stuck on one certain fit, but I do always get cotton. If you read the ingredients list on these, it usually says 95% cotton 5% spandex. This is because they use spandex in the waist band to make them remain taught throughout the day, so don't worry that spandex is on the lower portion. These are in a size 5, but Target carries everything up to a 14 I believe. 

Okay....I know these don't seem like much of anything super special, but I am so excited to finally have these blue-tinted mason jars. First of all, I use Mason jars as often as possible, but I got bored of them a few months ago and started using recyclable plastic. I got this 6-pack for $9....awesome. 

If you couldn't tell, my favorite color is blue (stereotypical right?). I love the sky and the ocean, so clearly all of my clothing is blue, my room is painted blue, covered in everything blue and white, and now I have blue mason jars everywhere. Now you may be asking, what in the world does one girl do with 6 blue mason jars. Here is what I am going to do: one of them is already full of my coconut oil, one of them will soon be filled with secrets and given as a gift, I would love to make a little terrarium in one or two of them, one of them is going to be full of homemade deodorant, and the last is a undecided as of now.  

Just look how pretty they are!! You have to admit, you're at least slightly excited or satisfied by the color and aesthetic of these little guys. Also, a little secret, when you fill them with coconut oil, the blue color really transforms and it looks so neat! 

Yes, I am a generic brand-name gal. I needed some baking powder for my homemade deodorant that I am making next week, and whole foods brand is no different from any other, but it is less expensive, so I got it. Hey, Whole Foods, if you ever read this, I really love your packaging. 

Reppin' Whole Foods y'all....I bought their virgin coconut oil.....AND

I also got the Whole Foods brand of organic chapstick

Unfortunately, Whole Foods never posts any of their own brand products online, so I have linked the best substitutes, in my mind, of similar price, that are available for purchase online. I hope you all have enjoyed my sharing my necessities with you. Hope to see you back soon to see my re-vamped planner! 

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Honest Company-first purchase

Happy Tuesday beautiful people!! 

I am very excited to create this post today because this marks my very first purchase from The Honest Company. I heard about this company for the first time a few months ago, but I wanted to go ahead and use up all of the products I had already purchased. Now, we have come to the new year, it is almost February- time is just flying for me, how about you- and I am out of things. 

The Honest Company is created by Jessica Alba and Christopher Gavigan, both incredible famous people who were simply looking for safer products to use in their households. They were looking for something natural, sustainable, gentle, and friendly to the environment. The best way to start a business is to have a problem that you believe you know the solution to and these two discovered just that. All of these products are free of SO MANY potentially toxic, dangerous chemicals and instead created with simple, plant-based materials. 

I love that this brand caters to families by selling what they call "bundles." You can create a diaper bundle (diapers, wipes, baby products), a vitamin bundle (nutrient supplements), or an essentials bundle (with 5-8 cleaning/personal care supplies) and hand select everything you want. Each bundle you create will be saved to your account and you can customize how frequently it will be sent to your house. For example, you can create a bundle of hand soap, toothpaste, all-purpose cleaner, shampoo, and sunscreen and have that delivered to your front door once every two months. 

I just received my shipment today, so I do not have a specific review of every product. 
Here is what I purchased:

I used this tonight on some rather oily dishes and it was incredible. It smelled so fresh, but light, and quickly and gently removed all signs that the dishes had ever been used. I am taking a bottle of this to college with me. 

Okay, I may not exactly need to use kid's toothpaste, but this was the only full-size tube they sell on the website. I smelled it and it's so sweet! I'm very excited to use it. 

I was so excited to see this little canvas pouch! The Honest Company sent me a complimentary baggy with an organic sugar cookie mix and a snowflake cookie cutter on the inside! I made this this evening, check out my Instagram for pics of the final product!! 

I did at least smell all of these products and I have to say, I have never smelled so many things from one brand that are all so fresh, clean, and light. Also, I started something completely new today- could anyone tell? I took my photos outside at "the magic hour"- sunset- so that I would get great natural light. Let me know in the comments below how you feel about the images. Thanks! See you all soon. 


Friday, January 23, 2015

Claire's & 100% Pure haul

Hello beautiful people! 
Here is the issue: I have extremely sensitive ears and my earrings like to make the sensitivity flare up. I have found that the only thing that really works for me is sterling silver earrings, because the backing is the most neutral on my skin. I went online and found a few simple, tiny earrings that were on sale- after Christmas sales are the best. 

I got these tiny little cubic zirconia (fake diamond) earrings for my second piercing. They are so small and simple that they go with any other pair. 

This value package was so great! The pair on the top is very tiny and I love the middle pair because they are just small enough to go in my second piercing and not overwhelm my ears. The biggest ones on the bottom row looked great also, but I was removing them from the package and the front piece had been glued on, so one twist in the wrong direction broke then right in half...so long to those. 

You can't tell, but these are all opal. They look so cute in real life! For anyone who does not know, opal is a light purple, somewhat iridescent color. I love it! 

These little ones have been my favorite (if you can't tell, I'm really into tiny earrings). They are little daisy flowers. I have been wearing these in my first piercing and the middle-sized opal ones in my second piercing. 

Here is where I get VERY excited!! I found out about this brand a few months ago and I have just been waiting for all of my products to run out in order to try these. This brand, 100% Pure, really is completely natural, entirely pure ingredients. On each package, at the bottom, it says 100% natural and either 100% vegetarian, or 100% vegan. The ones labeled vegetarian are created with plant products, but they contain some animal-based products (beeswax being the most common). The ones that are labeled vegan are made only with plant materials, meaning they contain nothing related to living beings, only vegetable and fruit materials. That being said, I got two things to try out. 

This is the cucumber juice foaming cleanser for sensitive skin. I can't give this the best review because I have only used it once, but it smells so clean and fresh and it really felt like it cleaned my skin well. 

I also got the fruit pigmented tinted moisturizer in creme. This is basically a BB cream, but it's incredible! This was a few dollars cheaper than the high-end foundation I have been using for the past few years, but the amount of product is more than twice. I tried this out today and it goes on so smoothly, smells incredible, and gives just the right amount of coverage. 

This is a little sample that they sent me in my order. It is the honey cream wash gingerade. I actually don't think they even offer this product in the store yet. I'm very excited to try this out! 

Here are two samples of coffee bean caffeine eye cream. I am so glad they sent me these samples because I had this on my list of things I want to get before college. One bottle of this (0.3 ounces) is only $11, which is incredible for such a high-quality product. With eye creams, a tiny bit goes such a long way, this is an incredible deal! 

All in all, I am very excited to use all of these and see how they change my skin- for the better. I am so glad that I finally discovered a brand that is not too expensive, and that does incredible things for the environment and many people's skin. Thanks everyone, have an amazing weekend!!  

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Pre-Christmas Sephora Haul

Hello everyone, I have a ton of pictures in this post, and all of these things have been on my blog in the recent past, so I am not going to link everything in this post. 
Simply scroll at your leisure, and check things out. 
If something strikes your eye, leave me a comment below and I will send you a link to that item. 
Thanks, Enjoy!

Foundation blender sponge 

Natural oil-absorbing sheets

Gentle detangling brush- I am absolutely in love with this yellow lemon. If a human being can love an object, this is the one thing that I love because it treats my hair so nicely and does not hurt my head like most hair brushes. 

This is one of the 500 point rewards from Sephora. It has a bunch of tanning serums, an eye cream, bronzer, and mascara, all in miniature form. **

Here is a greek yoghurt makeup primer/ facial moisturizer. **

This is a tiny Clinique acne spot treatment. **

Here is a BB cream sampler. **

A mud eye mask **

A ultra moisture body cream **

** I gave my mother and sister all of the sample-sized products.