Sunday, August 16, 2015

And We're Back....

Happy Sunday!

The book is done and in the hands of my writer's group as we speak. So, yay for that. However...

Well, before I get to the 'However' part of this post, how about a naked nail update - part of which will involve the 'However'.

If you look closely at the pointer of my right hand, you'll see the 'However'. And just to make it easier, here's an extreme close up - uh, pardon whatever the heck that is at the sidewall on the right. The things the camera sees that we can't.

Now, that may or may not be the fungus making a return visit. Just in case, I'm going to refrain from polishing until this crap grows out. Since I swatch on my left hand, I can still do that but no more full manicures until I know for certain what this stuff is. It may just be the thing that happens to diabetic nails every now and then, but I would think it would be happening to all my nails, not just this one. 

Other than that, the nails are looking pretty good. Still using the Bliss Kiss Simply Pure nail oil and the Nail Ale from So Much Goodness as well as my nail oil infused Curel, Burt's Bees Honey & Grapeseed Hand Cream and the Simply Sealed lotion stick from Bliss Kiss.

I've also added a new thing to this nail care arsenal - castor oil.

Since I decided to make my own face cream, I've been reading up on essential oils and such and the beauty benefits of castor oil are impressive. However, it can cause allergic reactions and irritation for some people so do your own research and testing. Also, look for oil that is organic, cold-pressed, unrefined and free of a chemical call Hexane. The brand I purchased from Amazon is Foxbrim but there are some other good ones out there.

I decided to use it in my face cream because of it's benefits for the skin, especially skin like mine. I have rosacea and really wanted to find something that would help with the redness and little red bumps I sometimes get. Castor oil is among several oils shown to help. 

Castor oil has also been shown to stimulate hair growth so it's good for the hair on your head as well as your eyebrows and eyelashes. I have been using it on my brows and lashes and I can attest to seeing some improvement. 

I have also put some on a spot in my hairline on the left where my hair is pretty thin and makes it look as if the hairline is receding. I sleep on my left side so I'm assuming that's why. Anyway, not saying I'm seeing any improvement there but then I'm only doing this the night before I'm going to wash my hair.  

It's also a good thing for brittle nails and dry cuticles. I put some in a dropper bottle and I'll use it on my nails as part of an intense moisturizing routine. I've read where it can also encourage nail growth, but mine already grow so fast that I haven't really noticed a difference.

If you Google castor oil, you can find many other good uses for it  know. You'll also find information on what kind to get, how to use it and what precautions you should take.

Now, about that face cream. 

The first batch that I made turned into a near disaster. Adding the corn starch was a huge mistake. The stuff hardened into a jar full of unusable stuff. I had also added some of the more liquified stuff to a squeezy tube with Curel in it and all that did was make a chunky, hard to squeeze mess. I could still use both versions but it was a pain and I ended up looking and feeling too greasy. So today, I made another attempt and I think it turned out better.

Here's the two jars of cream.

I believe these are 2 ounce mason jars. Not sure where we got them but they were perfect for the amount of cream I was making. The first batch is on the right, the latest batch is on the left. Notice the difference in color. I think that's from where I used a fork and spoon to really beat the daylights out of the second batch. I didn't beat the first batch nearly as well. I could have used a hand mixer but felt there was too little product and it would just end up all over the kitchen.

Here's a look at the actual product.

I think you can see how much creamier the second batch is. I'll put the first one in the microwave and melt it so I can pitch it and reused the jar. The cream really should be in brown glass but I don't have any on hand. I did order some jars. They should arrive Monday. I just couldn't stand fighting with that original batch any longer.

The cream is made up of shea butter, cocoa butter, jojoba oil, vitamin E oil as a natural preservative - the real stuff, not synthetic, and castor oil. In addition, I did use two commercially made products but was careful to make sure I knew what was in them. 

I used an alcohol-free rosewater and witch hazel that I already use as a toner along with an alcohol-free, 100% aloe vera gel that does contain a handful of other ingredients. I used these commercially made products in the hopes that they also contain some kind preservative. Otherwise, I'd have to keep this cream in the refrigerator. Since I've been using both products by themselves, I figured it would be safe to put them in my cream. I also think they are one reason the cream doesn't seem to be turning as hard.

It's been about 3 hours since I made the cream and while it isn't all that creamy, it's not rock solid hard either. And it smells so good. Just like chocolate.

My mom came up with an excellent idea for scooping out the cream when I go to use it.

We've been getting these single serve ice creams from the grocery store. Not only are they convenient since no dipping is required, it's just enough to know you've had some ice cream. I figure a tiny little 3 ounce cup is a lot better than eating a whole pint. Rationalization is everything, right?

While these little scoops suck as spoons, they're perfect for getting product out of a jar without using fingers. They're washable and can even be sterilized with alcohol if necessary.

Long post but hopefully you found it interesting. I've gotten several boxes already for August. Which reminds me. That Beautybox 5 I reviewed for August? Yeah. That was for July. The month is right on those little cards. Didn't read it. But I do have August one already.

I'm thinking of doing a recap of the boxes at the end of the month and reveal which one I felt was the best value. Got my Boxycharm box on Friday with some amazing products inside, so I'm thinking that one might end up the winner. You'll have to wait on the post to find out why.

Yeah. I'm mean like that.

So, thanks for reading and definitely stay tuned.


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