nuts over this yummy scrub!


Rosmarinus officinalis, or Rosemary is  a wonderful herb to have in your garden, your kitchen and even your bathroom!

Rosemary has antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties that leave the skin smelling clean with its earthy aroma.  This particular scrub is made with rosemary and pecans, which have more than 19 vitamins and minerals to their name!

You’re going to want to keep this scrub near the sink with a small (think demitasse) spoon nearby.  Use this scrub after gardening or whenever your hands feel dry and need an extra kick of moisture.  This is also good to have in the shower for elbows, feet and knees.  Just be careful if you use a glass container….maybe you should find a cute plastic one for the shower.


1/4 cup turbinado sugar

1/4 cup pecans (raw)

1/4 cup sea salt

6 T. coconut oil

2 T. fresh rosemary

In a food processor, combine all ingredients.  Pulse until well blended.  Pour mixture into a decorative glass container with lid.

Gently rub spoonful of scrub onto hands (or feet) and rinse with warm water.  Use scrub within one week for best results.


if you missed beauty school, here’s a make-up session…

Don’t you just love beauty secrets?  I can’t hear you, but I’m just sure you nodded.

Let’s just get right to them.  Some may be new and some you may already know….but please, ladies….SHARE these with a friend or enemy.  It’s time to brighten up this planet and I’m ready to do it, one girl at a time…..

Let’s start in the kitchen: (don’t forget to test these concoctions on the inside of your arm or better yet, on a friend first,  to test for a reaction)

  • AVOCADOS…mash a ripe avocado and gently dab on undereye puffiness and dark circles.  Place a cold damp washcloth over eyes for about 15 minutes.  Rinse off.  You are moisturizing and de-puffing at the same time.
  • CHERRIES…mix a couple of tablespoons of cherry juice with one tablespoon of sea salt.  Massage over dame skin and then rinse.  This is your glowing treatment!
  • EGGS… add an egg to your shampoo to produce volume and add shine! (no, don’t add to the bottle…place in your hand)
  • MILK…add dry milk powder to water to make a paste.  Massage gently onto face and then rinse.  This will make the skin silky smooth, as the milk’s lactic acid takes away dirt and debris.
  • YOGURT…mix one teaspoon of yogurt with 1/2 teaspoon of dry oatmeal.  Massage into lips, rinse and then apply a little olive oil.

NEED A SKIN SOFTENER?  Brew about 10 ginseng tea bags in a large teapot.  Pour into bath.  Ginseng helps soften, tone and refine skin.

GOT A TUBE OF BROKEN LIPSTICK?  Heat it with a hair dryer, then reattach the broken piece and place it overnight in the refrigerator.

NEED A BELT?  No problemo, just use a scarf in contrasting or matching colors.

WRONG COLOR LIPSTICK?  Just mix your own colors by dipping a lip brush into your lipstick tubes.  Mix the colors on wax paper until you get the color you want.

WANT A GREAT FACIAL CLEANSER?  Mix two tablespoons of baking soda with just enough water to make a paste.  Smooth over damp skin and rinse with warm water.

GOT REDNESS?  Milk and yogurt applied to the skin will help to reduce the redness.

Some of the cheapest cures and treatments can be the quickest and most effective!  Remember to exercise (without makeup, please!) Get at least eight hours of beauty sleep, so your skin can repair itself and drink plenty of water.  It’s also a good idea to place a humidifier in your bedroom to keep your skin hydrated while you sleep.  And finally, when it comes to grocery shopping, read your labels!!!  Shop the perimeter of the store (where the fresh food hangs out) and smile, smile, SMILE!!

the nasties…

(Here is an article found on the Good Morning America website)  By ANGELA ELLIS

May 13, 2010

We’ve all been there – you see an eye shadow or blush compact in your makeup bag but you’re not quite sure how long you’ve had it. No harm in using it one more time, right? Not so fast.

It turns out that all it takes are a few cells from an unwashed hand or a blistered lip and a mascara wand or lip gloss could become a haven for contagious bacteria.

Hundreds of people use makeup counter testers every day, but unfortunately not everyone uses the disposable applicators provided. Dirty fingers dipped in makeup can spread everything from herpes to pink eye.

“You can find staphylococcus, you can find micrococcus…and if you’re very unlucky…E. coli, which is obviously from fecal matter,” Dermatologist Jeanine Downie said.

That same bacteria might be hiding in your own makeup stash, especially in older products. Antibacterial agents start to break down after about six months.

Former makeup artist Syama Meagher said she still uses products that are months, years and even decades old, like her favorite high school eye shadow from the early ’90s.

“If I put it on my finger or my hand and it looks okay I figure, why can’t I use it?” Meagher said.

GMA” wanted to find out just how unhealthy it is to use makeup past its prime, so we collected a few samples to send to a lab: lip gloss from Meagher, liquid eyeliner from our own Juju Chang and mascara and eyeliner pencil from some “GMA” staffers.

News correspondent Andrea Canning had face powder, which was at least a year old, months-old mascara, concealer and worn down lipstick and sent them off to be tested.

Andrea said “it might not be pretty” and she was right — the results were shocking.  Of the 25 samples tested, 11 came back positive for different types of bacteria such as staphylococcus, commonly found on the skin but still potentially harmful.

“This is a bacterium that can cause pink eye…and also skin lesions and rashes,” microbiologist Connie Morbach said.

We discovered streptococcus, which is usually found in saliva or mucous, and Morbach said is a bacterium that can cause strep throat.

Contaminated Makeup Can Cause Breakouts, Boils and Even Abscesses

The other bacteria we detected, micrococcus and bacillus, come from household dust and dirty surfaces. But the worst bacteria we found are called gram negative rods.

“These are organisms that originate in our intestinal system, but also can be found in decayed food,” Morbach said.

The amount of bacteria discovered in just one tiny swab was also startling.

“They are actually 100 times more concentrated than what you visually can see on the plate,” Morbach said.

The bacteria can not only make you sick, it can also wreak havoc on your skin.

“When you’re using contaminated makeup…you can get mild breakouts, all the way to boils and even abscesses on your face,” Downie said.

When these women found out exactly what was in their makeup their reactions varied from “gross” to “scary” — but all of them agreed they should either clean the makeup or throw them out.

Tips to Help Keep Your Makeup Clean:

Sharpen your eye and lip pencils to remove the bacteria on the outer layers. Also use diluted bleach and makeup remover to clean your sharpener.

Wipe down your lipstick, or shave off the top of it with a blade especially if you have shared it with someone else.

Keep the lids and caps tightly closed. If you lost them, throw it out.

Use disposable applicators or wash your brushes every few weeks.

the price of beauty….

If you are a woman, then at some point in your lifetime you have wanted to look beautiful.  Who doesn’t?  AND on the other hand, who doesn’t love a bargain?  AND who doesn’t want to look  gorgeous without spending a lot of time or  money in the process?  (ok, put your hands down)

Every woman loves a “beauty secret”, and we all want to be told we are beautiful.  But trying to find a more natural product for your skin can be quite misleading.  Don’t assume that the word “natural” contains ONLY safe ingredients!  As it turns out, there are no industry standards demanding that natural products contain ALL natural ingredients.  Some natural ingredients may be added to SYNTHETIC products and can still be labeled natural!

You have to become a label detective.  For example, most of you know that the ingredients are listed in order of the total percentage they make up of the product, with the highest percentage first. 

 For example:  APRICOT CREAM  Ingredients:  Natural or organic ingredients include:

Water, Isopropyl palmitate, apricot kernel oil, BIS-diglyceryl caprylate/caprate/isosterate/sterate/hydroxstearate adipate, Glycerly sterate SE, Caprylic/capric triglyceride, Ceteareth-12, Tocopherol oil, Chamomile extract, Sage extract, Linden extract, Balm mint extract, Shea butter, Wheat germ oil, Carrot oil, Cetyl alcohol, Sodium hydroxide, Sorbic acid, Tocopherol acetate, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Imidazolidinly urea, Fragrance, FD&C Yellow No. 5, D&C Red No. 33.

The content of Apricot Oil in this item is 2.5% out of 100%.  (from Beauty by God, Shelly Ballestero)

So you see that you need to learn to read labels!  The Garden of Eden contained all the necessary ingredients to be beautiful, but we all know how that turned out.  However, we ALL need to take responsibility for our planet and for ourselves.

Imagine NOT having chemicals in our cleansers, moisturizers and makeup.  It’s not always easy but it can be done.  Remember to  look for the words “USDA Organic” and the seal of certification if you want to use products from a store.  They ARE out there. 

In the next couple of posts, I will give some recipes for some beauty products/recipes from your own kitchen.  We will be using yogurt, essential oils, honey, eggs and all sorts of “real” items!  You don’t have to spend a lot of money to look like you have.  There are some great shortcuts and I’ll share them with you!  Stay tuned!!

In the meantime, chew on this…….

  • 4 pounds: Average amount of lipstick a woman will ingest over her lifetime.
  • 11: Percentage of the 10,500 ingredients used in personal-care products that the U.S. government has documented and publicly assessed for safety.
  • 1,110+: The number of ingredients banned in cosmetics in the European Union.
  • 10: The number of ingredients banned in cosmetics in the United States.
  • 600: The number of companies that have signed the Compact for Safe Cosmetics.
  • 33: Percentage of personal-care products that contain at least one chemical linked to cancer.
  • 22: Percentage of cosmetics contaminated with possible cancer-causing impurity 1,4-dioxane.
  • $160 billion: Amount spent annually on skin- and hair-care, makeup, cosmetic surgery, fragrances, health clubs, and diet products.

Sources: Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, The Environmental Working Group, The Economist

spa day? Nah…I’ll take a spa year, thanks…

Do you know when the FIRST beauty pageant happened?  Nope, wasn’t Vegas.  Nope, wasn’t Hawaii.  It was Persia!

Remember Esther?  Nooo, not Aunt Esther from Sanford and Son….Esther from the BIBLE….she was known in her village as Hadassah but soon became the wife of Ahasuerus, king of Persia.  She succeeded Queen Vashti who had the courage to REFUSE a demand from the king!  In other words, the king was celebrating a feast that lasted seven days and was open to all the people.  Wine was flowing and the guests were allowed to drink as much or as little as they wanted.  And drink they did. It was a par-taaay.

The king was wasted and ordered Queen Vashti to be brought to him so he could show off her beauty.  The queen gave the servants “hand” (as in ‘talk to the hand’) and said, “I don’t think so.”

The king became enraged and issued an order for a new queen.  Meanwhile, little Hadassah is being raised by her Uncle Mordecai, who was a Benjamite official at the palace gate.  He saw the decree that the king was looking for beautiful, young virgins and sent for her immediately.

This is where the beauty pageant starts.  All the young maidens were brought to the king to be paraded in front of him, so he could decide who was to be queen.  Right now there are women raising one eyebrow thinking that it was a little sexist, but this is old times we’re talking about, and that’s how they did it…so let’s just  run with it.

So Esther was a beautiful and a devout Jewess that only served the true God and did not worship idols.  And when she was presented to the king, he decidedly fell in love with her over all the other maidens and chose her to be queen.  After she became queen, her name was changed from Hadassah to Esther, meaning ‘star‘.

But here’s the coolio part.  So before she was brought to the king, Esther received beauty treatments and special foods.  Ok, let me give a little more detail here.  She received TWELVE months of beauty treatments.  ONE YEAR… TWELVE MONTHS, PEOPLE… She got six months of  an ‘oil of myrrh’ treatments and six months of ‘perfumes and cosmetics‘.  Can you imagine?  Living in a spa for a year? ARE YOU KIDDING ME? (I am so overcome that I have to take a minute here….)

Esther was beautiful and smart (and now smelled really, really good), and even better, she had an amazing heart for her Jewish people.    The law of the land required that anyone who approached the king without an invitation would die, unless the king agreed to see them.  It was a risk Esther was willing to take and she asked Mordecai to fast for her and to pray for her protection.

Esther used her femininity to catch the eye of the king as she stood in the courtyard all dolled up and smelling good.  She was hoping that he would look her way, and look her way he did!! See, she wasn’t allowed to approach him unless he held out the golden scepter… Can you imagine that the only time you could talk to your husband was to wait for him to hold out his golden scepter?  Wait….let’s put it into modern days here….you walk into the den as he is sitting on his throne (recliner) and just stand there hoping he looks your way and holds out the scepter (tv remote).  Boy, it must have been tough living in those days.  I’m afraid that I would be dead in a couple of hours after the wedding.

But that is why her name is Queen Esther and not Queen Sandi.  The king asked Esther what she requested and that sets the plan into motion to saving her people from the evil Haman, the kings right-hand man, who wished to destroy all the Jews.

What is beautiful about this story is that Esther used her beauty for the glory of her people and the glory of her God!  She wasn’t boastful or greedy.  Instead she was humble and merciful and even though the twelve months of beauty treatments made her beautiful on the outside…she was beautiful on the inside. She has become one of the jewish people’s greatest heroines because she served with fearlessness, intelligence, and don’t forget….she smelled reeeeally, reeeeally good.

Psalm 45:11 “The king is enthralled by your beauty; honor him, for he is your Lord.”