DIY All-Natural Body Sprays & Perfumes

Make Your Own Body Spray feature @poorandpretty

DIY Body Spray via @poorandpretty

I have been on a roll with tutorials lately! It must be the return of spring. :) As part of my ongoing partnership with Bramble Berry, I thought I’d share with you a few ways to make all-natural body sprays and perfumes. I’ve made perfume in the past, so I wanted to try a lighter body spray this time, especially now that I’ve got a few homemade infused oils! Before we dive in, let’s talk about the three main all-natural body spray bases:

Oil Base:

Water Base:

Alcohol Base:

DIY Perfume via @poorandpretty

Remember the DIY Perfume I made last year? This is an example of an alcohol-based perfume or body spray. Although it contained a man-made fragrance oil, the vodka base itself is natural and can be used with essential oils instead. In today’s post, I’ll cover the Oil and Water based body sprays. If you want a stronger perfume, check out my alcohol-based perfume tutorial here.

DIY Vanilla Sandalwood Moisturizing Body Spray via @poorandpretty

I love any excuse to slather myself in vanilla-scented goodness, so my first body spray was an oil-based one, using my vanilla-infused jojoba oil. I combined it with a few drops of sandalwood essential oil for a sensual, woodsy appeal.

Vanilla Woods Oil-Based Body Spray

This is a great after-shower spray, and can be used in place of lotion for dry skin because jojoba oil absorbs very quickly, without a greasy feeling.

DIY Citrus Body Spray via @poorandpretty

I’m also a big fan of citrusy fragrances, and I’m in love with the Litsea Cubeba Essential Oil I picked up from Bramble Berry. It’s like lemon with a little bit of pine. In this water-based body spray, I mixed it with Orange Essential Oil and Rosewater, which produced a lovely citrus-meets-bubblegum fragrance. It reminded me of lemon sherbet, tea cookies, summer carnivals, and relaxing on the porch with a good book.

Almost Summer Water-Based Body Spray

 This is a very light fragrance that won’t stick around forever, but offers a lovely light pick-me-up scent.

 DIY Body Spray - using a funnel @poorandpretty

Tips & Tricks for Making Body Spray:

  • If you can, use amber or cobalt (blue) bottles rather than clear. They filter light, preserving your fragrance for longer.
  • Use a funnel when pouring your water, oil, or alcohol into your bottle to avoid spills!
  • Optionally, you can add aloe vera, glycerin, and/or Vitamin E to your sprays for extra moisturizing benefits.

Make Your Own Body Spray via @poorandpretty

Have you ever made your own perfume or body spray? I’d love to hear what worked for you, and what fragrances you’ve mixed up!

Disclosure: I was provided some of the supplies shown in this post by Bramble Berry, because I totally love them and they love me too! This post also contains affiliate links which may generate a revenue for Poor & Pretty when a purchase is made. You can read more about my affiliate link policies here.

SHARE ON  
FacebookGoogle+PinterestTwitter

DIY Herbal Infused Oils for Beauty & Cooking

Infused Vanilla and Lavender Oils feature via @poorandpretty

Infused Coffee Vanilla and Lavender Oils via @poorandpretty

When I began creating products for my 100% natural Apothecary line, I realized quickly that my fragrance options were pretty limited. Because I only use essential oils, I can’t easily achieve apple pie, cucumber melon, or vanilla frosting scents. I was not willing to give up on vanilla, but Vanilla Absolute (the closest thing you get to vanilla essential oil) is CRAZY expensive — sometimes around $100/oz! I knew there had to be a less expensive alternative. That’s when I discovered I could make my own oil infusions. You can do this with all kinds of herbs and flowers, and it’s cheaper than buying essential oils. 

DIY Infused Lavender Oil supplies via @poorandpretty

Depending on the types of oil and herb, flower, or bean you use, your infused oils can be used in beauty products or cooking. Next week, I’m going to share how I used mine to make body sprays! But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Let’s get infusing!

Basic Infused Oil Recipe

  • ¼ – ½ cup herb, flower, or bean
  • 1 cup of oil

These are approximations. For some oils, you’ll want to use more of the herb you’re working with, and some you’ll use less. See my “herbs to infuse” section below for details.

Infusing Lavender Almond Oil via @poorandpretty

Double-Boiler Infusion Method  — the fastest method!

  1. Fill the bottom pan of a double boiler with water. If you don’t have a double boiler, fill a medium saucepan with 1 ½ cups of water.
  2. Add your oil and herbs, flowers, or beans to the top pan of your double-boiler. If using a saucepan, put the oil and herbs into a heat-safe bowl or Pyrex measuring cup and place gently into the saucepan.
  3. Warm on low heat for 2-4 hours, checking every so often to make sure your water hasn’t evaporated. If it starts getting low, add more in.
  4. Strain the oil/herb mixture through cheesecloth, a fine mesh strainer, or a coffee filter into a jar and close the lid tightly.

Infused Vanilla and Lavender Oils via @poorandpretty

Tips & Tricks for Infusing Oils

  • Use oils that have a long shelf life — Jojoba, Olive, Sweet Almond, and Avocado oils are best. You can buy them here.
  • For the most part, you’ll want to use dried herbs and flowers to prevent bacterial growth and mold.
  • Straining through a coffee filter took a long time. If you’ve got cheesecloth or a fine mesh filter, use that instead!

DIY Infused Oils via @poorandpretty

Herbs to Infuse + Where to Buy Them

  • Calendula (Marigold) – One of the best, most versatile infusions. Calendula soothes dry & damaged skin and irritations. Use it alone or in a salve or lotion to heal sunburn and rashes. It makes a great baby oil, too. Use up to 1:1 calendula to oil ratio. You can buy calendula here.
  • Chamomile – If you want something relaxing, but you’re not a fan of lavender, chamomile is a close second. It’s not as strongly scented as lavender. Use ½ cup chamomile per cup of oil. You can buy chamomile here.
  • Coffee Grounds – This oil will tighten skin, fight free radicals, stimulate blood flow, and reduce cellulite. Ever notice that eye creams tend to have coffee in them? That’s because coffee reduces puffiness and gets rid of under-eye circles. Use ¼ – ½ cup of coffee grounds to 1 cup of oil. You can buy coffee grounds at your local supermarket.
  • Lavender  – You know the drill. Lavender is great at reducing stress and inducing relaxation and sleep. (Learn more about why I love lavender here.) Use ¼ cup of lavender buds per cup of oil. You can buy lavender buds here.
  • Orange Peel – A lovely brightening, cheering scent, I love using powdered orange peel in my Orange Sugar Scrubs. Dried orange peel can also be used to make an infused oil. You can make dried orange peel yourself by peeling oranges and letting the peels cook in the oven on very low heat for a few hours or you can skip that (it’s kind of a pain) and buy dried orange peel here.
  • Peppermint – Awakens the senses and soothes sore muscles. A peppermint-infused oil would be great on its own as a sore muscle massage oil. Use fresh peppermint, which you can buy in your local supermarket. I love combining rosemary + peppermint for cold season remedies, like in this DIY Mint + Rosemary Vapor Rub or my Mint + Rosemary Bathing Salts.
  • Rosemary – This can make a great culinary or beauty oil. Use it as a rub for muscle pain or as a treatment for dry, itchy, flaky scalp. It’s also great in recipes for roasting potatoes, pasta sauce, etc. I used about 2 tbs of dried rosemary in 1 ½ cups of olive oil. Because I will primarily use this for cooking, I left the rosemary in the oil. You can buy rosemary in the spice aisle of your local supermarket.
  • Vanilla Beans – This smells incredible! I use vanilla-infused jojoba oil in my Vanilla Sugar Scrubs. Slice up 3-4 vanilla beans per cup of oil. I like the tiny seeds mixing in with my sugar scrubs, so I don’t strain this oil. You can buy vanilla beans in most supermarkets or natural food stores.

These are just a few of the oil infusions you can make! I’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences. On Monday, I’ll share how to use these infusions to make body sprays.

Disclosure: I was provided some of the supplies shown in this post by Bramble Berry, because I totally love them and they love me too! This post also contains affiliate links which may generate a revenue for Poor & Pretty when a purchase is made. You can read more about my affiliate link policies here.

SHARE ON  
FacebookGoogle+PinterestTwitter

Recipe: Vanilla Bean Cupcakes with Champagne Buttercream Frosting

Vanilla Bean Cupcakes with Champagne Frosting feat

Vanilla Bean Cupcakes with Champagne Frosting feat

Remember those gold star-spangled cupcakes I made for New Year’s Eve? They’re also perfect for Oscar Night this Sunday! When I first made them, I used my Cuckoo for Coconut recipe for the cupcake, but this time I went for vanilla bean. Both are equally delicious, but I’ll share my vanilla bean recipe today.

NYE cupcakes via @poorandpretty

Vanilla Bean Cupcakes with Champagne Buttercream Frosting — makes about 16 regular cupcakes or 75 minis.

Cupcake Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 5 tbs butter, softened
  • 2 tbs agave nectar
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 vanilla bean, seeded (discard hull)
  • ½ cup milk

Frosting Ingredients:

  • 1 stick butter, softened
  • 2 cups confectioner’s sugar
  • 4 tbs champagne – any champagne will do!
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • edible gold stars

NYE cupcake closeup via @poorandpretty

Cupcake Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350° and line your cupcake tin(s) with paper or silicone cupcake liners.
  2. Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl.
  3. In a larger bowl (or the bowl of your stand mixer), cream the butter and sugar for a few minutes until light and fluffy.
  4. Add eggs into the butter and sugar mixture one at a time, mixing well and scraping the sides of the bowl after each addition.
  5. Beat in vanilla bean seeds and vanilla extract.
  6. Add flour mixture and milk alternately to your sugar mixture, beginning and ending with flour, and blending in between each addition until completely incorporated.
  7. Scoop batter into cupcake liners until they are ⅔ full and bake for 10-13 minutes for minis or 16-18 minutes for regular-sized cupcakes.

Vanilla Bean Cupcakes with Champagne Frosting via @poorandpretty

Frosting Directions:

  1. Cream butter with the paddle attachment on your stand mixer (or use a hand mixer) in a medium bowl, making sure to scrape the sides of the bowl a few times to get any devious clumps of butter.
  2. Pour in one cup of confectioner’s sugar and mix well, scraping the sides of the bowl. Then, repeat with the other cup of confectioner’s sugar.
  3. Mix in your vanilla extract.
  4. Mix in your champagne on low, one tablespoon at a time.
  5. Add more confectioner’s sugar if necessary.
  6. Frost your cupcakes and enjoy!
SHARE ON  
FacebookGoogle+PinterestTwitter

Winter skincare tips & top picks

Remember my Summer Skincare Tips post? I thought I’d do another for winter. I know it isn’t officially winter yet, but since we saw our first snow fall earlier this week, I’m thinking it’s close enough. Truthfully, many of the tips I shared in my summer post are relevant for winter skincare, but given how dry the air is, it’s even more important to stay hydrated and moisturized. Here are my favorite ways to do so…

winter-skincare-faves-poorandpretty

1. Drink lots of water or coconut water. Some people aren’t big on the taste of coconut water, but if you can get past that, it really is an amazing hydrator — some say it hydrates even better than water because it’s choc full of electrolytes. It’s also rich in potassium. Try adding it to smoothies if you don’t like the taste.

2. We’re all tempted to take hot baths or showers in the winter to stay warm, but this can actually dry out your skin. So if you do take a bath, try to keep it warm rather than hot and add some milk and honey to your bathwater. As celebrity esthetician Catherine Ianelli says in her milk and honey bath soak recipe, “milk makes the skin soft, is rich in AHA’s (alpha hyroxy acids), which promote exfoliation, and gives the skin a glowing complexion.”

3. Just as it’s important to exfoliate your face, it’s crucial to exfoliate your body, too, especially in the winter. My homemade vanilla coconut sugar scrub is my go-to body scrub. The sugar gets rid of dry, flaky skin and the coconut oil swoops in to moisturize. I’m also partial to my Jar of Frosting, a whipped soap body scrub made with jojoba beads to cleanse, exfoliate, and moisturize.

4. My Coco Body Balm packs a super-moisturizing punch because it’s made from cocoa butter, shea butter, coconut oil, and jojoba oil. Liquid lotions tend to contain chemical preservatives, whereas my Coco Body Balm is entirely natural, and therefore entirely good to your skin. I use it on particularly dry patches of skin like my elbows, knees, heels, and slather it on my hands before I go to bed.

5. Whether or not you’re prone to dry skin, it’s better to use a natural bar soap for your face in the winter. Not just any bar soap, of course, you’ll want one specifically formulated for the sensitive skin on our face. Why? Because natural facial bar soaps are made with skin-loving oils that provide your skin with more moisture rather than removing it. Most liquid face washes contain surfactants (also in household cleaning products!) which strip your skin of its natural oils, leaving your face too dry. I like this oatmeal & lavender facial cleansing bar from Blissoma.

6. Hopefully, if you’ve followed all of the above steps, your skin will be well-moisturized, but if you need a little extra help, you’ll want to keep a face serum handy. Facial serums can be pricey, but they are packed with rejuvenating oils, so you only need a few drops for your whole face. The best serums — like this Organic Face Serum from Antho — contain Rosehip and Argan oils, loaded with powerful antioxidants and natural essential vitamins.

What do you do to keep your skin soft in the winter?

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links which may generate a revenue for Poor & Pretty when a purchase is made. You can read more about my affiliate link policies here.

SHARE ON  
FacebookGoogle+PinterestTwitter

DIY Beauty: Vanilla coconut sugar scrub

DIY-Vanilla-Coconut-Sugar-Scrub-thumbnail

DIY Vanilla Coconut Sugar Scrub via Poor and Pretty

This is a luxurious twist on my classic sugar scrub recipe, using coconut oil instead of safflower oil, and adding a dash of vanilla essential oil for a decadent fragrance!

Ingredients:

  • 1⅓ cup all-natural cane sugar
  • ½ cup coconut oil, melted
  • a few drops of vanilla essential oil

DIY Vanilla Coconut Sugar Scrub via Poor and Pretty - grind sugar

I always like to grind up my cane sugar in a mortar and pestle first, so it’s not as rough on your skin. You want it to be a little rough so that it gets rid of dry skin, but you don’t want it to scratch you! This step isn’t strictly necessary.

DIY Vanilla Coconut Sugar Scrub via Poor and Pretty - add coconut oil

Add your sugar to a bowl, then add the coconut oil and vanilla essential oil. Note: Coconut oil is funky in that it is solid at room temperature, but melts at about 76º F. Unless you live in a tropical region, you will probably need to melt down your coconut oil first {I just put it in the microwave for 30 second intervals until it melts}.

DIY Vanilla Coconut Sugar Scrub via Poor and Pretty - mix

Mix all of your ingredients together! Do it fairly quickly, before the coconut oil solidifies again.

DIY Vanilla Coconut Sugar Scrub via Poor and Pretty - put in container

Put it into a jar and use it within 6 months! :) Because cane sugar is pretty rough, I wouldn’t recommend using this on your face.

SHARE ON  
FacebookGoogle+PinterestTwitter