Leona DIY All Natural Body Butter Kit

Monday March 2, 2015 | Beauty DIY

For the holidays, I received this fun package of ready to make all natural body butter!

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This is the first I’ve come across something like this.

Leona is a brand that specializes in Hand Craft Kits of all-natural personal care products.

Their ingredients are simple, high quality, natural and organic. All very good things!

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The kit comes with shea butter, coconut oil, jojoba oil and lavender essential oil, as well as a step-by-step guide on how to whip up the body butter.

All ingredients are organic and fair trade.

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Contents shown above, from left to right:

- Empty container for finished product
Shea Butter 2.0 oz
Coconut Oil 1.0 oz
Jojoba Oil 1.0 oz
Lavender Essential Oil .03 oz

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Step 1

Boil water on low heat in a  double boiler or a small pot with a heat-safe mixing jar (pyrex or mason jar).

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A metal mixing bowl placed inside a regular sauce pan works just as well!

Step 2

Place shea butter, coconut oil and jojoba oil in double boiler/mixing jar. Mix every few minutes.

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Step 3

Heat until mixture turns to pure liquid form. Liquid should be translucent yellow color.

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Step 4

Remove from heat and add lavender essential oil to the mixture.

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Step 5

Place mixing jar in refrigerator to cool for 1+ hour. Leave in fridge until top layer is solid and bottom layer is solidifying.

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Out of the way, old chinese food!

Step 6

Remove body butter from refrigerator. Use a large spoon or whisk to whip body butter for 10 minutes.

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If you have a small hand mixer, even better!

Step 7 and 8

Place mixture back in the fridge for ten minutes. Then take out from fridge and whip for another 5 minutes.

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Step 9

Once body butter has consistency of fluffy cream, add body butter to provided container.

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And voilà! You have made yourself a very buttery body butter.

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Mmm… just like making cake batter!

I couldn’t resist the yummy scent of the shea butter, I had to taste it! The best part is that I know exactly every ingredient that went into this.

Closing thoughts

The process itself was a lot of fun and reminded me that I’m terrible at following directions! Especially at keeping track of time. So instead of leaving it in the fridge for an hour, I left it for 2 hours. But all’s well that ends well :-)

At $40 for the kit, it’s admittedly a lot pricier than what it would cost if you were to just buy these ingredients individually at a health food store. But you’re paying for the convenience and the quality of the ingredients.

The finished ready to use body butter is available on the Leona website for $25.

Leona also offers two other DIY kits, “Make Your Own Lip Balm” and “Make Your Own Hard Lotion.”

Go check it out at www.leonamade.com!

What beauty products have you made at home? 

A Daytrip To Bodega Bay

Wednesday February 25, 2015 | Culture Travel

I haven’t really spoken much about life in California.

I love California because there’s so much beautiful nature everywhere!

Even city life isn’t that far away from a natural escape. Whether you feel like running off to the beach, the forest, the mountains or the desert, everything is less than a day’s drive away.

There are also so many cute little towns to discover.

Recently, Oliver and I took a day trip to Bodega Bay. It’s about two hours north of San Francisco. It’s so tiny I’m not sure if it qualifies as a town. You probably wouldn’t even notice it on a map.

So what makes Bodega Bay so special? Well… if you are a classic film buff and you love films where mother nature out of the blue goes on a rampage, then the town of Bodega Bay should sound familiar to you.

Ring any bells yet?

“The Birds” by Alfred Hitchcock was filmed in Bodega Bay!!

What, you mean to say you’ve NEVER seen The Birds by Alfred Hitchcock??

Spoiler alert, it’s an awesome film in which angry birds amass together and attack people!

Why? That part is never explained… but maybe you can take a stab after watching this short trailer in which the director himself talks about our feathered “friends.”

But ok, even if you have no idea what I’m talking about or really care to see the film, Bodega Bay is still a worthy destination for a road trip!

Here are several photos from that day…

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While a lot of the town has changed since the filming of The Birds, there are still many familiar sights. Like this dock outside of The Tides Wharf and Restaurant.

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These birds are not at all afraid of people. I got so close to one, it almost pecked out my eye! jk

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My salty fisherman.

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You will find many references to The Birds in this town. Having said that, the fish tacos at this place were pretty good.

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I couldn’t resist…

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We found a cozy coffee shop where everyone knew each other’s names…

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And a real salty fisherman served us our coffee!

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Bay Hill Road. Remember that scene of Tippi Hedren smugly swerving around in her car? This is that road.

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Ocean behind me, the glittering bay in front of me.

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Photo adventure partners in crime!

16The man is everywhere you look!

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Bodega is actually a different town fives miles away. But parts of the movie were also filmed here…

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“A nice store in a small town.”

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I think this post office is so cute and quaint. Also take note of the “not too close” parking sign…

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This is the school from where the children ran out. Today, it’s someone’s private house.

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And this was the creepiest building that we found! Because what could be creepier than a church amiright? jk

Eyeliners: The Art Of The Fine Line

Wednesday February 18, 2015 | Makeup Product Reviews

Drawing cat eyes has always been such an ordeal for me.

It’s a ritual which involves closing my doors, clearing clutter off my desk, taking a deep breath… and going crAY-zy!

Usually it’s frustrating and a major timesuck. But when I do get it right, I’m full of self-congratulatory surprise.

Over the holidays, I purchased a set of Stila eyeliners and vowed that if I am gonna be a crazy cat lady then I should up my cat eye game!

Fortunately, these liners have made playing around with different looks really fun and easy.

Stila box set

The Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner Set comes with four liquid eyeliner pens in a tin box packaging; one full size at 0.5ml and three half size at 0.25ml.

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The tin box reminds me of a pencil case and upon opening, makes me feel like a schoolgirl opening my first set of prisma colors.

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The range of everyday colors is great. While the intense black is a great staple, it’s not the one I use the most because it really is intense. It’s nice to able to choose other down to earth colors.

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It’s very pigmented and easily buildable. Swatch colors from left to right: Moss, Dark Brown, Midnight and Intense Black.

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Here’s another photo of different strokes and pressures applied. From thickest to thin. When dried, the color gives a matte finish.

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One of my favorite things about these pens is they are really easy to manipulate!

The precise felt tip brushes are flexible and taper out to ultra thin points. It’s really easy to draw fine lines and get under the lash line, then build it up to super thick lines.

The negative point here is that the brushes are just ever so slightly starting to fray at the tips.

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Here I’m wearing the green moss liner. It’s not as bold of a green as I would have liked, but it’s still an interesting alternative to the pure black.

Another great point is that boy, do these liners STAY. All day. I mean, literally all day. I had it on for twelve hours and it was just starting to flake off, though still managed to retain its overall form.

A tip for those with hooded eyes: after applying, close your eyes and fan at your lids to speed up the drying process. You’ll feel very silly, but this will prevent the color from sticking to your top lids.

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Some people say that it’s easier to use the short pencils, but I actually find the longer pencil has a more even weight distribution and easier to handle.

Although these liners are waterproof, they are not that difficult to take off at the end of the night. It just take a few swipes of a cotton pad and some Bioderma micellaire water.

And I didn’t get a photo of me wearing the midnight blue liner, but it’s my favorite! Such a rich blue ocean color.

Ok, let’s sum up what I love about these eyeliner pens!

The Pros
- Easy to apply, even for the clumsy handed ;)
- Long lasting. It really does stay all day.
- Great range of everyday colors.
– Highly pigmented and buildable.
– Waterproof, but easy to remove at night.
- pretty good deal. The whole set cost me around $25, while the full-size liner alone is $20.
- Fun reusable packaging.

The Cons
- Brushes are slightly fraying at the tips.
– That’s it, really.
– Do the fanning thing with your hands if you’ve got hooded eyes?

So overall, I’m quite pleased with the Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner Set!

What about you?

What are your favorite eyeliners? And have you tried these Stila ones?