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Beauty

The Ultimate Clay Mask for Glowing, Radiant Skin

Clay masks are the BEST masks, EVER. Okay, that may be a slight hyperbole (I don’t know what came over me), but this mask is extremely powerful. How so? Well, have a seat, my friend…I’ll explain:

mask 2

Bentonite clay works its magic by absorbing toxins and impurities when activated by liquid. The clay is essentially ridding your face of the impurities that can lead to breakouts, blackheads, and dry, dull skin. Pretty cool, huh? As for our friends Cinnamon & Nutmeg? Well, these two spices are just too lovely to pass up! Much like bentonite clay, when applied to the skin cinnamon increases circulation and plumps the skin. This antimicrobial spice does wonders for fine lines and wrinkles, not to mention acne & blemishes! And nutmeg? Oh sweet, nutmeg. This baby works hard to fade those acne scars on our beautiful skin. Acne doesn’t stand a chance against the antibacterial goodness in nutmeg. Take THAT, Acne!

Now, don’t just take my word for it. Get ready to give your face something to glow about!

Directions:

For this clay mask Mix the bentonite clay, nutmeg, cinnamon and apple cider vinegar until combined. The consistency should resemble that of your favorite greek yogurt, with bubbles. If your consistency appears otherwise, simply add a bit more bentonite clay to thicken it up or ACV to water it down.

mask 3

Apply the mask to a freshly washed face.  I find that a thick coating tends to work best, so don’t be stingy! Allow the mask to work its magic for 20 to 30 minutes. You will feel slight tingling–that is simply the bentonite clay and wonderful spices beautifying your skin. If the tingling becomes unbearable, rinse off the mask with cool water.

After  20 to 30 minutes,  gently wash away the mask with cool water. I prefer to do this part in the shower since clay can be rather tedious to remove. You may find it helpful to use a clean washcloth to aide in the removal of the mask.

Once your skin no longer resembles Kermit the Frog, pat dry and apply a soothing moisturizer. What do I use? Well, I swear by my argan oil. This gentle yet effective oil is perfect for the sensitive skin types who crave deep moisture.

If your skin is slightly red, do not panic. That is simply the result of the  bentonite clay and cinnamon increasing the blood circulation near your face. Nice, right? The redness fades within 30 minutes.

P.S. If you suffer from highly sensitive skin or allergies to cinnamon and nutmeg, please steer clear from this mask. 🙂

Enjoy!

-Zeena

Why I Stopped Buying Deodorant…For Good!

About 6 months ago, I stopped buying deodorant. Yes, you read that right! Frankly, I was tired of buying deodorants that didn’t do the job. Traditional deodorants, like Dove or Secret, would wear off within hours, leaving my pits smelling oddly metallic-like and full of sweat (TMI?).

Not to mention, most deodorants are full of chemicals that can have harmful effects on the human body. In fact, it is believed by some that the aluminum in antiperspirants may be linked to breast cancer and Alzheimer’s!

If that doesn’t scare you, here are some typical ingredients found in deodorant brands like Secret and Dove:
  • Cyclopentasiloxane: linked to tumor formation and endocrine disruption in animals
  • BHT: may cause cancer, skin, eye, lung irritaion, developmental and organ toxicity
  • Propylene Glycol: may cause cancer, reproductive/developmental problems, damages protein/cellular structure of the skin

Can you believe that these are just a few of the chemicals that make up our most common deodorants?!

Now, don’t get me wrong, I  have not been walking around completely funky for 6 months. Sheesh! If you remember my post from a few months ago, I simply found another way to meet my deodorizing needs: I started making my own! Not only am I saving money but I no longer have to worry about nasty chemicals or semi-natural deodorants that just weren’t doing the trick (you know who you are!).

deodorant

With this homemade recipe, I noticed a few exciting tidbits:

  • I remain stink-free for 24+ hours, even on the hottest and sweatiest of days (no secret armpit checks required!)
  • The armpit area of my shirts no longer have that odd smell after washing or ironing (was that just me?)
  • My white shirts no longer have yellow under-arm stains
  • My armpits are no longer dry, flaky or irritated! Woohoo!
  • I can pronounce every ingredient in my deodorant (even though I still struggle to spell DEODORANT most days!)
  • 2 oz of deodorant lasts about 3 months (money-saver, anyone?)
  • The deodorant washes away with just soap and water, no scrubbing necessary

Unlike traditional antiperspirants, this deodorant doesn’t block the underarm ducts that release sweat,  so expect to sweat. Hey, it’s natural, right? 🙂

Click here to read my full recipe and learn how to make your own toxin-free dedorant right in your own kitchen!

 

Have you tried to go toxin-free with your deodorant? We want to hear all about it below!

Peace, Love & Coconuts!

-Zeena

Winter Skin Tips: 8 Fabulous Ways to Save Your Skin

It’s no secret that the winter can wreak havoc on our skin: our hands start splitting, lips become chapped and skin becomes dull and gray. Sound familiar? Go on, raise your hand! If your skin is suffering from the freezing temperatures, no need to worry! With these 8 tips, your skin will soon be thanking you!

image

1. Keep coconut oil handy: Before leaving the house each morning, apply a thin layer of coconut oil all over your hands before putting on your gloves. The oil will lock in moisture, keeping your hands supple until you wash them. Be sure to moisturize your hands throughout the day with more oil. Don’t be afraid to carry your coconut oil with you! If you need a reminder, try keeping a bottle of coconut oil by your bedside. Before bed each night, lather up your hands and feet and drift off to a tropical oasis!

2. Stay hydrated: Even though you may not be sweating as much as you did during the summer, staying hydrating in the winter is as equally important! By drinking at least 8-10 glasses of water (64 oz) a day, you can keep your skin soft and supple by keeping your cells hydrated.

3. Moisturize at the right time: While your skin is still damp from the warm bath or shower is the perfect time to lotion up! The lotion or oil locks in the moisture from the water, keeping your skin moisturized for hours. Try to avoid super hot showers which can actually dry out your skin!

4. Try Omega 3: If your skin just can’t get enough moisture, try consuming omega 3. Found in fish, avocado, walnuts,  flax seed and olive oil [just to name a few] omega 3 keeps the skin hydrated from the inside out.

5. Ditch the runny lotion: If your skin drinks gulps lotion, you may have better luck with a cream. Nubian Heritage’s Body Lotion feels like butter-heaven. It soaks right in, leaving your skin moisturized for hours. Plus, it isn’t full of any awful chemicals that will leave your skin more dry!

6. Dress appropriately: Below freezing temperatures with an even colder wind-chill? Be sure to keep your face covered! Protecting your body from the harsh elements helps to prevent the cold, dry air from drying out your skin. Use a scarf to keep your face covered while you are outside.

7. Exfoliate the dry spots: A simple exfoliation with honey and sugar is a great way to get rid of any dead, dry skin while prepping your skin for moisturization. Gently rub the honey and sugar mixture on your dry spots: elbows, hands, heels. After rinsing be sure to apply a layer of coconut oil to lock in moisture.

8. Protect your lips: Apply your favorite chapstick multiple times per day, even if your lips aren’t dry. Rather than waiting for your lips to become chapped, take steps to ensure soft, hydrated lips all winter long. Try keeping your chapstick in your pocket to ensure easy access. To keep my lips moisturized all day long I use Mongo Kiss by Eco Lips and love it!

How are you staying hydrated this winter? Comment below!

-Zeena

3 Must Have Lip Balms for Dry Lips

You know what’s really minor but a major pain? Chapped lips. They can be so uncomfortable: the flaky skin patches, the lip splitting and bleeding. Gruesome, I know. I tend to be very picky about my lip balms. Certain lip balms tend to cause breakouts around my lip line. I wasn’t surprised when I discovered that these typical lip balms are filled with pore-clogging ingredients and chemicals. So, in order to soothe dry lips without any threat of a breakout, I was on the lookout for the best brands that are natural and still do the job. Luckily i found my 3 must have lip balms for dry lips! Read on…

3 Must Have Lip Balms for Dry Lips:

bager

1. Badger Balm – Cocoa Butter Lip Balm

This nifty stick is larger than traditional lip balm sticks. The cocoa butter based formula glides easily on lips and provides a nice pleasant layer of balm so that lips remain moisturized.

Ingredients: *Organic Extra Virgin Olive, * Organic & Fair Trade Certified TM Cocoa, *Organic Beeswax, *Organic Castor Oil, *Organic Aloe Extract, and CO2 Extracts of *Organic Rosemary), *Organic Rosehip, & *Organic Seabuckthorn.

* = Certified Organic

 

EOS Lip Balm

2. eos – Smooth Sphere Lip Balm

I love the shape of this lip balm, it just fits so neatly in the palm of your hand while applying to lips. It’s such a nifty design! Not to mention, it happens to be a fantastic lip balm, too! It’s available in fun and fruity scents. The application is very smooth and leaves a thin coating of moisturizer on the lips that lasts!

Ingredients: Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil*, Beeswax/Cera Alba (Cire D’abeille)*, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil*, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil*, Natural Flavor (Aroma), Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter)*, Stevia Rebaudiana Leaf/Stem Extract*, Tocopherol, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil*, Fragaria Vesca (Strawberry) Fruit Extract*, Limonene**, Linalool**.

*Organic.

**Component of Natural Flavor. Certified Organic by Oregon Tilth.

 

hurraw

3. Hurraw! Lip Balm

There are a few reasons why I love this balm: it contains organic, vegan and raw ingredients, it’s available in unique flavors, and it’s available in local and major businesses like American Apparel. This balm glides smoothly across the lips. An added bonus?: the company is steadfast on using natural, cold-pressed ingredients to avoid losing the wonderful healing properties of each ingredients.

Vanilla Bean Flavor

Ingredients:  **Vanilla planifolia (vanilla) bean infused *Prunus amygdalus dulcis (sweet almond) oil, ***Euphorbia cerifera (candelilla) wax, **Cocos nucifera (coconut) oil, *Simmondsia chinensis

(jojoba) seed oil, **Theobroma cacao (cocoa) seed butter, *Ricinus communis (castor) seed oil, *Olea europaea (olive) fruit oil, **Vanilla planifolia (vanilla) bean, organic flavors, Tocopherols (sunflower)

*cold pressed / organic **raw & organic ***wildcrafted

 

What’s your favorite natural and organic lip balm? Let us know below or on Facebook!

 

Peace, Love, & Coconuts

-Nalani

Say BYE BYE Baggage!: 10 DIY Treatments for Under Eye Baggage + Dark Circles

Oh why dost thou PLAGUE us, under eye bags + dark circles?! We’ve all had those moments where we look in the mirror and shriek from horror at the puffy-darkness that has made a home under our eyes.

baggage

Under-Eye Bags and Dark Circles are most often a result of several factors:

  • Lack of Sleep
  • High Sodium Diet
  • Lack of Exercise
  • Stress
  • Genes
  • Fluid Retention
  • Alcohol/Smoking
  • Poor Circulation
  • Lack of Essential Vitamins

Like most beauty dilemmas, you do not need to spend hundreds of dollars to fix the problem. In fact, most of these natural cures can be done right in your kitchen:

1. Tea Bags: Simply wet two used or unused, caffeinated tea bags with cold water and place over eyes for about 10-15 minutes (cat nap, anyone?). The tea bags help to reduce under-eye baggage through the caffeine and tannins. The caffeine works to draw away any retained water, while the tannins work to tighten the skin molecules under the eye.   The coolness from the tea bag helps to reduce swelling. Our favorite teas include Green Tea and Black Tea.

2. Cucumbers: Cut 1 slice of cucumber in half. Apply one half slice under each eye for 15-20 minutes. The coolness and anti-inflamatory properties from the cucumber helps reduce swelling while providing essential antioxidants to the under-eye. An added bonus? Cucumber is full of Vitamin K. Vitamin K has been proven to be effective in reducing under eye circles by strengthening blood vessel walls, improving circulation and fading hyper-pigmentation.

3. Potatoes: Cut 1 slice of potato in half. Apply one half slice under each eye for about 20-30 minutes. The potatoes work wonders for dark circles because of the enzyme catecholase in the potato. This enzyme can actually lighten the skin under the eyes. For an added benefit, refrigerate your potato slices to help reduce puffiness under the eye.

4. Ice/Frozen Spoons: One of the oldest tricks in the book, ice or frozen spoons (or frozen anything) can provide almost immediate relief. If you suffer from under-eye bags, place the frozen spoons or ice under your eyes for a few minutes at a time. The ice helps to reduce inflammation by constricting the blood vessels under the eye.

5. Dried Basil: Boil 1 tsp of dried basil in 1 cup of water. After 2-3 minutes, remove the mixture from heat and allow to chill in the refrigerator for an hour or so. Once chilled, soak 2 cotton pads (cut in half for easier application) with the basil and water mixture. Apply 1 cotton pad under each eye and leave on for about 10 minutes. 1 tbsp of dried basil contains about 64% of our recommended daily value of Vitamin K. As we learned from #2, Vitamin K is an important factor in reducing under-eye circles.

6. Milk: Cut 1 cotton pad in half and soak in milk. Allow to sit under eyes for 3-5 minutes.  The cold milk reduces swelling while the proteins, vitamins and lactic acid in the milk help to lighten the dark circles.

7.  Witch Hazel: Cut 1 cotton pad in half and soak in witch hazel. Allow the pads to sit under eyes for 10-15 minutes. The witch hazel does wonders for removing puffiness and dark circles. Much like tea, the tannins in witch hazel helps to tighten the skin molecules under the eye.

8. Limit Sodium Intake: A high salt diet means water retention. Water retention means under-eye puffiness. If you suffer from puffiness, chances are you may have a high-salt diet. Try limiting the amount of salt you consume by only consuming fresh fruits and vegetables and homemade meals. Processed foods and take-out tends to have ridiculously high levels of sodium.

9. No Rubbing: As hard as it is to resist during allergy season, avoid rubbing your eyeballs. The constant rubbing can actually break the blood vessels under your eyes which can result in dark circles. If your eyes are giving you a hard time, try rinsing with cool water. 

10. Sleep: Yes, it’s not easy. In fact, this might be one of the more difficult remedies for dark circles.  After all, how do we simply get more sleep? A lack of sleep can cause the blood vessels under your eye to dilate, AKA “say hello dark circles”. Try going to bed an hour earlier. Instead of 11PM, make it 10PM. The smallest difference will have the biggest effect. Struggle to fall asleep? Read this post for some fab tips to help you fall asleep quickly!

What is your favorite DIY treatment for under eye bags and dark circles? We’d love to hear them? The crazier the better!

-Zeena

 

Lifeless Curls: My DIY Fix

Happy Friday Coconuts! We hope everyone is having a fantastic Holiday season! As you may have noticed, we have concluded our Favorite Ingredient Friday series. With a new year approaching, Brown & Coconut is saying: “Out with the old and in with the new!” We will no longer limit our fantastic recipes to just Friday’s, and we will continue to bring you interesting, helpful, and relevant content throughout the week. Great, now that that’s out of the way, let’s talk about CURLS, lifeless curls that is…

My DIY Fix for Lifeless Curls

I recently noticed my curls were becoming  limp and lifeless. What gives??, I thought. After doing a little research. Ieggmask3 found that in my case, I needed a little more protein, both internally and externally. As you know, hair is made of protein. So, in order to have the necessary building blocks for your hair to grow healthy and strong, you need to consume enough protein everyday, AT LEAST ½ gram for every pound of your body weight.

I also decided to try an egg-mask. I’ve heard great things about using egg in your hair, but have never tried it.

eggmask2After washing with a clarifying shampoo, I headed to the kitchen to mix 1 egg (for protein) with ¼ to ½ cup of honey (for moisture). I let the mask sit for 20-30 minutes, then rinsed my hair thoroughly and conditioned normally. I won’t lie, my hair had an odd oder afterward, not bad, just weird, so I would recommend using this treatment on a day you are not going anywhere, or use styling products with a strong fragrance.

The results? My curls were alive again!

If your curls are lookin’ a little limp, then perhaps try a protein treatment. Eggmask1Use a clarifying shampoo or rinse with ACV (Apple Cider Vinegar) beforehand to get rid of any build-up on your hair. Then try this egg-protein mask, or your favorite protein conditioner and watch your curls come to life!

 

My top 3 Favorite Protein Treatments:

What’s your favorite remedy for lifeless curls?

~ Letisha

Beauty Find: Rosehip Oil

Once again, Brown & Coconut was on the look out for another fabulous natural product that will do wonders for the body without breaking the bank or be chalk full of chemicals (yuck!). So word on the natural streets (yes, I know that’s not a real phrase but we can make it one?…) is one product that I keep hearing about: Rosehip Oil. Now, I know Rosehip oil is not new to the scene and is definitely  in many of the natural products we use,  but never purely by itself.

trilogy-certified-organic-rosehip-oil

What is Rosehip Oil?

Rosehip oil is the oil extracted from a rosebush seed, a plant typically grown in South America. The highest quality oil is cold pressed from the seed to produce an earthy, yellow tinted oil that smells similar to olive oil.

Rosehip oil is full of so many amazing ingredients that’s hard to say no!:

 – omega- 6 fatty acid

– omega-9 fatty acid

– omega-3 fatty acid

– antioxidants

– beta-carotene

– lycopene

– vitamin C

 

If you are not sold yet, let me explain the incredible benefits of using this super oil:

– Reduce redness

– Reduce wrinkles and fine lines

– Moisturize skin

– Absorb easily

– Calms inflammation

– Reduce scarring

– Improve/reduce acne

 

After researching Rosehip oil thoroughly, it was hard to pass up! I decided to order a bottle from Amazon.com. I purchased the Trilogy Certified Organic Rosehip Oil for $20.00. I can’t wait to try it out and I’ll be sure to let everyone if it lives up to the hype!

Have you tried Rosehip Oil yet? Comment below!

Peace, Love and Coconuts!

-Nalani

Shampoo Bars!

So, I have heard the words shampoo bar being thrown around on many natural hair care forums, but never gave it much thought until Zeena and I were browsing a local naturally based food & body care shop.

Of course when we entered the shop, we B-lined it for the hair-care section like the true addicts we are, and there they were shampoo bars.jpg*cue the music*…the shampoo bars!

Zeena and I immediately got all googly-eyed and snatched a bar off the shelf to take a look. After some long and careful consideration (more like 2.5 seconds) I was SOLD and threw it in my basket to buy!

I purchased my bar for about $6 and busted that baby out as soon as I got home. First things first, that little sucker is SLIPPERY. As soon as it got wet, I couldn’t pin it down, it was sliding all over the shower! With that being said, I have never experienced a shampoo product with that much slip! Fabulous for my curls! The shampoo bar lathered wonderfully and worked through my hair with ease. After a nice massage with my finger tips, I rinsed. The shampoo rinsed out easily and left my hair feeling clean, but not stripped and straw-like! AMAZING!

When my hair dried, it was shiny, curl-licious, bouncy, and soft!

Will I purchase a shampoo bar again? You bet your bottom dollar! In fact, I don’t think I will be going back to regular shampoo…

Quick Facts:

  • Great latherShampoo Bar
  • Great slip
  • Neutral smell
  • Cleanses hair well
  • Non-drying

I would definitely recommend going for the natural/organically based shampoo bars and steering clear of the shampoo bars made with chemicals or other unnatural substances.

Are you new to shampoo bars? Read this to help you get started.

Have you tired shampoo bars but seem to experience negative results? Read this to find out what may be going wrong.

Want some help choosing the right bar for you? Click here. This site offers samples at a reduced price!

Have you tried shampoo bars? What do you think of them?

If you haven’t tried them, would you consider it?

~ Letisha

DIY Holiday Bow

With the holidays right around the corner, now could not be a more perfect time to start wrapping those fabulous gifts for your loved ones. The perfect addition to any gift is the ever-so-appealing bow that’s placed smack-dab in the middle. Bows just make a gift scream “Open me!”. Well, before you head out to purchase any bows right this minute, check out an awesome way you can make your own bows right at home!

main

You’ll Need:

  • Recycled Bags or Newspaper (for the gift wrap)
  • Recycled Magazine or Newspaper (for the bow)
  • Scissors
  • Tape

bow 1

Okay, now that you have your supplies gathered from wherever (don’t worry-no judgement here!), it’s time to start cutting the strips that are going to make up the bow.

bow 2

STEP 1

Start by cutting 3 strips (1 inch wide) out of the magazine. Yup, it’s that easy. Don’t worry about using a ruler (ain’t nobody got time for that). Simply eyeball your measurements, making sure the 3 strips aren’t too wide. These 3 strips are essentially the “full size” of the magazine page in terms of length.

STEP 2

Set those strips aside so you can begin cutting the next 3 strips. This is where it gets tricky. Just kidding. Again, cut 3 strips out of the magazine. This time, you are going to shave a bit off the top. Cut 1 inch off of each of these 3 strips so they are 1 inch shorter than the first 3 strips from step 1. Phew. That was a mouthful.

STEP 3

Set those strips aside. Now you are going to cut just 2 strips from the magazine. These strips are going to be trimmed down by 2 inches. Run those 2 strips under cool water. Just kidding. Don’t do that. It will ruin the strips.

STEP 4

Set those strips aside. Woo! Almost done! Cut 1 last strip. I promise this is the last one. This strip is only going to be only 3 inches long.

STEP 5

Now it’s time to make the “loops”. Starting with the longest strips, “twist” the ends into the middle. Hold each end down with a small piece of tape or with a staple. Work your way through all the strips, except for the 3 inch strip. You’ll need that later.

photo 3

photo 4

photo 5

Happy little family of loops.

STEP 6

Fold the last 3 inch strip into a ring. This will be the center of the bow.

loop

Now the fun begins!

STEP 7

Layer each loop in a criss-cross pattern; a few this way, a few that way.

layer 1

layer 2

STEP 8

Hold each loop in place with a small piece of tape. Place the small circle in the middle. Wallah! You’re done!

bow final 4

bow final 2

bow final

To make the gift extra special, use a recycled newspaper or grocery bag as your wrapping paper. DIY bows and wrapping paper are good for the environment and economical! 🙂

Happy Holidays!

 

Peace, Love & Coconuts!

-Zeena

Are you Mistletoe Ready? 3 Steps to Smoother Lips

‘Tis the season of gifting, holiday treats, and mistletoe. Yup, that’s right, the mistletoe. And let’s be honest, it’s no secret that this cold weather can leave our lips dry, chapped and irritated…So, what are the best ways to keep our lips mistletoe ready during this holiday season (licking your lips doesn’t count!)? Read on to find out how!Sweet lips

 1.Exfoliation

Exfoliating your lips is one of the best ways to achieve baby soft lips. It give your lips that healthy glow by removing dead skin cells and discoloration.

Start by mixing…

lemon + sugar + honey

OR

coconut oil + brown sugar

These simple mixtures not only remove any dead skin cells, but moisturize as well!

 

2. Deep Moisture

Now that your lips are smooth, you are ready for the special treatment. Coating your lips in butters and oils is one of the best ways to prevent and heal dry, chapped lips. This treatment works best overnight (trust me—your lips will be greasy).

You’re going to need to gather…

shea butter + coconut oil + vitamin e oil

Apply the thick mixture to your lips (as much as you can stand) and let it soak in overnight.

 

3. Protect & Prevent

So your lips are finally feeling cool, calm and collected, right? Well, you can’t stop there! Protect your lips from the cold, dry elements with a heavy-duty lipbalm.

Carefully heat up…

beeswax + olive oil

Pour the heated mixture into a small container. Many health stores sell beeswax as well as small containers to store your lip balm. This simple mixture will coat and protect your lips from any harm! (okay, well maybe just from the cold, dry weather!).

 

With these three steps your lips will stay baby soft all holiday season long!

Peace, love & coconuts!

-Zeena