All Around Best Homemade Cosmetic Recipe EVER!!!!!

Combine 1/2 cup each vegetable glycerine, distilled water( rose or floral water if you getting your fancy on), and pure aloe vera gel. Add one teaspoon liquid vitamin E( my sister said this is about 6 if you’re popping gel pills)also optional is a preservative.¬† What you have is a fabulous highly effective and super cheap eye makeup remover, makeup mixing medium( shadow to liner, dramatic cake eyeliner etc),wetting agent for other cosmetics( aspirin or clay face masks, etc) leave in hair moisturizer/detangler, wound wash,sunburn relief product, foot spray guards against bacteria/fungi and callouses if used regularly, facial toner for normal/dry skin, facial moisturizer for normal/oily skin, leather conditioner, and latex safe “love” lotion. There may be more I’m unaware of but I’ve used it with great success on all of the above. EXCEPT the last one ūüôā

Fresh Aloe Vera is needs to be kept refrigerated to retain all benefits. Small batches , refrigeration and the addition of the vitamin e should keep everything in order. I prefer to use stabilized aloe vera gel and adding a ready-to-use broad spectrum anti-microbial preservative so I can make bigger batches and keep in those vintage bottles I had to have.  I purchase mine(all ingredients in this article can be purchased as well) at from nature with love.

I’m a sucker for multi use products and for anything homemade so this is HG for me. I call it the mix. If you take the time to inform yourself on cosmetic ingredients and their indications, read labels, you’ll save your skin and wallet. Being an educated consumer ensures you from useless, ineffective¬† and/or over priced purchases.¬† I’m sure you well know this applies to all purchases as well.¬† Hopefully we will learn to harness our power as consumers and in turn force the cosmetic companies to stop overcharging and duping us.¬† Give us fairly priced, safe, high quality, effective products.Pipe dream, huh?


Yet Another 20 Best Budget Beauty Buys List

Is another best drugstore beauty buys list needed? Probably not, by now we’ve all figured out vaseline and aquaphor truly are multi-purpose and most homes have at lease one of the two in the bathroom. Yup Cetaphil is a super mild affordable cleanser. Dove soap is awesome.¬† No we probably can’t tell which sister used Suave hair products and which used salon. And who hasn’t figured out that wetnwild liners for lip, eye, and brow are arguably the best beauty deal ever? Aren’t Goody elastics about the top of the hair elastic line anyway? Yup we know baking soda can cleanse our hair, exfoliate our skin, mixed with hydrogen peroxide bleach our teeth and can sub for deodorant. Coconut oil is the shit for hair.This list will not include any of tried and true beauty editors throw together when they need to fill space.¬† The mags are great but cosmetic company’s pay their salary and the reader needs to be kept under the impression that in you get what you pay for.

Absolutely, Positively, a load of¬† hot stinkin BULLSHIT.¬† The beauty(fragrance included here) is one of if not the biggest perpetrator of paying more for the label.¬† Paying for celeb endorsments, limited editions, 206 shades being available even though ninety percent of it’s sales consist of probably 20 of those. In a drugstore line those 20 would be all that’s sold.¬† Seriously ladies check ingredient lists.¬† If you’re interested in knowing exactly how and how much they are bullshitting you please check out beauty and the bullshit. It’s a well written often hilarious blog written by the very lovely Rowena. An ex beauty industry she dishes some serious dirt.¬† The difference is she’s not a middle aged professor with washngo hair,¬† comfortable shoes and not wearing makeup. She’s young pretty and still has a love for beauty. Really if her blog doesn’t end up huge I’ll be a monkeys’ uncle. So while there’s overhyped claims, overpriced products and bullshit in beauty lets forget that and focus on those products that work well without a 1014% retail markup.¬† Please note since I couldn’t figure out how to display the list gallery style you’ll have to click on each photo for my choice explanation. Also I didn’t not include fragrance as just because personal taste is the end all be all there. While skin musk is long lasting and affordable if the scent of musk makes you sick, that’s no bargain.

Published in: on May 20, 2011 at 6:04 pm  Leave a Comment  

Vintage Clothes. ooh that smell

I had to jazz up a bit of a boring topic, didn’t I?Anyone who buys vintage clothes or comes in contact with old fabrics of any kind, knows they can be a little or more than a little musty. The smell is often difficult to remove with regular washing methods. Allowing the item to sit in sunlight for days is a great help as we all know. I’ve found that using a homemade detergent seems to work better at sweetening than store bought.¬† There are many recipes on the net for making your own detergent most a combination of pure soap, borax and washing soda, to make liquid water is added. This makes a pure, fragrance fee, laundry soap that’s safe, effective and economical.¬† I make and use it for fine washables. But I have a family and I’ve found that absolutely nothing cleans better than Tide.¬† Being the thrifty gal I am, I always have coupons and stock up on sales.¬† I tried the basic homemade detergent/ sunlight on vintage finds and I found it lacking in removing all the odor. So I played around with things and I came up with a formula that works great. It’s especially effective if soaked overnight¬† providing you’re pretty sure the garment can handle it.Also it doesn’t require the investment¬† borax if you don’t normally buy it.

Recipe as follows

1/2¬† bar laundry soap(Zote, Fels-Naptha, Octagone) OR¬† 1/3 cup liquid castile soap. I use Zote because it’s sold locally for .79 and it smells of citronella which I associate with clean(that’s just me).

1 cup BAKING soda

1 cup Washing Soda (arm and hammer in the laundry isle)

1 cup Vinegar

A few drops essential oil(lavender, tea tree, orange, lemon any you think of as clean)

Grate the soap if using bar, as fine as you can. Mix in the sodas. Then add the vinegar¬† a little at a time. Last the oil.¬† You will think this is going to be a paste but with a bit of mixing out the lumps, will become a powder. This will keep in a covered container for a few months at least. I’ve always used it up before.

I boil a big ass stockpot of water then pour into paint bucket. I add in a bit of this(honestly I don’t measure, I just shake it in, probably equals about a tablespoon). I swish it around with a rubber glove on. I will swish it around¬† again occasionally. Soak overnight.

Rinse well, wring gently and lay in the sun.

Note the remaining 1/2 bar that’s still solid is a great stain pre treat. It’s also used for dish washing.

To further remove smells, use a store bought or homemade linen spray and iron thoroughly. The heat from the iron sort of sears the spray into the fabric.

Use Mrs Stuarts Bluing to brighten light colors instead of bleach.

Published in: on October 7, 2010 at 11:31 am  Leave a Comment  
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Great retro shoes and more! Affordable too!

All you younger vintage loving gals . I am going to give you a shopping tip for a company you’ve been exposed too, but I can bet never shopped. You’ve more than likely gotten a catalog from them. But you’ve never shopped there. They carry items you wear everyday, classic perfumes and modern as well.¬† they carry makeup from stila, bobbi brown, elizabeth arden, estee lauder, prescriptives I even saw a lone mac lipstick.Cheap, too.¬† But I still would be willing to bet you’ve never ordered from them or been on their website.

Yeah right, you say. Come on lets here it, so I can prove you wrong, you’re thinking.


Okay you haven’t shopped there. You might be saying I’ve never even heard of the, I don’t get their catalog. You know that catalog you may have seen that you probably dismiss as being for old people? The pull on elastic waist pants, velcro comfort shoe,¬† diabetic socks one, as seen on tv one. . That’s the one.¬† So yes their main market is AARP card carrying folks. But what that means is they¬† carry styles to appeal to this market. Mary Janes, T-straps, skimmers, etc in a lower heel. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want every shoe I have to be 4 or five inches. I never wear them. ¬† They carry classic white keds and the classic espadrille. Extended sizes to boot.Cheap too.

They carry lots of classic, modest undergarments. I even got  high waist panties to go with my high waist trousers. Still waiting on that perfect skirt to come my way.

They carry classic scents like L’air du temps, shalimar, and royal secret as well as many top designer scents form today in addition to the makeup I mentioned.¬† Check the clearance outlet for choices starting at only $1.

They also have the standard house dresses, dusters , and the¬† comfort clothing you’d expect.¬† But have an open mind and take a look around. You may just end up placing an order.I did. I got some grey flannel cologne for my husband( that scent makes me weak at the knees), a lipstick set by prescriptives, the shoes above in dark gray $24.99!, my daughter a little pair of suede booties,¬† and the high waist panties. I spent around $50 with shipping! You can’t beat that with a stick!

Published in: on October 4, 2010 at 2:57 pm  Leave a Comment  

$5 dollars for Dollar General this weekend only

Link to a coupon for $5 off $25 at Dollar General good this weekend.¬† Dollar General does accept manufacturers coupons as well.¬† Rack up on cleaning supplies, paper goods, toiletries, and of course one of their best offerings, 12 packs of nubby, white, washclothes.At this price you can be assured of always having a clean rag to cleanse your face. It’s also quite satisfying to see the dirt on on the rag.¬† I love these.

Whoa, two posts in one day.¬† I’m a machine!!!!!!!

Published in: on September 29, 2010 at 2:33 pm  Leave a Comment  

Thrifting Tips 101

Thrift Stores. I buy about 80 % of my family’s clothing from thrift stores.¬† Take into account I am including undergarments and shoes(I always buy these new) that’s almost everything.¬† I’ve been shopping in thrift stores for years, growing up in New York there was a Salvation Army thrift store right across the street from my apartment. As a teenager I bought quite a lot there, but always went early in the morning, in partial disguise.¬† I figured out early on, I could buy fabulous unique clothes for a fraction of the retail price.¬† More often than not the quality was better than if I bought new. I almost never heard, “I have that shirt/skirt.!” By expanding your options(different eras, lines from stores you may not have access to, etc) your style is expanded. This is where my love of vintage style began.¬† The styles, the fit, the quality of fabric and workmanship was almost always superior to anything modern.¬† I’m a true New York bargain lover to start with, and with 25 years plus thrifting, I’ve become what all that know me call a “deal queen”. And while I’m aware ebay and etsy have tons of great vintage clothing, I don’t buy many vintage clothes online.¬† Fit and finance are two biggest problems I have.¬† Anything really great is out of my budget, if I can afford it, I can usually find something similar and not pay shipping, and be able actually feel it and try it on. I am 4’11” and have a wide chest area. I’ve had three children, and while I’m lucky I actually still have a waist, I have a little bit of a pooch.¬† I just prefer to try things on. Now that I’m thinking about it if¬† more online options had a return policy, I’d do a lot better. Note to sellers.

So here’s a few things I’ve learned. You may already know or practice some or all but hey if it helps one person. These would apply to yard sales, church sales etc. Anywhere that sells used clothing and goods.


1. Go often. This is number one. Inventory comes in and is put out daily.   Also if you are lucky enough to have several in your area, go to all of them.

2. Learn your shops.Learn the layout out of the store. This makes going often easier.You can zip around the store. Most of us don’t have as much time as we’d like to spend exploring. Knowing where and how your shop displays items will help. Some separate by size, some by¬† color, some have “better” racks etc.¬† Find out what specials they have on what days. My local shop has 50% off¬† all merchandise on Mondays, on Tuesdays all clothing with certain color tags indicating they’ve been there over a week are 99 cents, and so on.¬† This is not to say you should only shop on deal days. I know for a fact that a certain large chain of used goods shops “pulls” some of the better items off the floor, so that they won’t be sold for half the ticketed price.¬† Not all shops do this, but going on a day with no specials, will be less crowded, picked over, and have more inventory.¬† Remember number one, go often.

3. Be educated. Even though the majority of my family’s clothing purchases are second-hand, I’ve made it a point to learn as much about retail lines¬† as possible. Knowing names, and which lines are made for certain stores will help in making your purchases. Learn to spot quality fabric and workmanship. ¬† You will learn which designers cuts you do best with, will stand up to wear etc. You will also learn not to pay too much for lower end lines that are inexpensive sold new. You will be able to tell if an item is actually from the 1940’s or is 1980’s does 1940’s.¬† Syms’s clothing stores had a commercial on while I was growing up. The owner said “An educated consumer is our best customer”.¬† The more you know, the better you’ll buy.

4. Don’t go shopping with anything in mind. Trust me if you look in your closet and think, “I need some pretty blouses for work” and then set out in search of them, you more than likely won’t find a thing.¬† But there might be perfect for you suit on the other side of the store,or a ton¬† of quality¬† of clothes in your daughters size just donated.¬† Along these same lines, the best finds are usually off season, just like retail.¬† In the middle of July, summer clothes are at a premium, you might just find a gorgeous cashmere cardigan, or a great pair of vintage wool trousers.Also be open. Some of my most flattering clothes are items that didn’t exactly reach out and grab me.

5. Buy ahead provided you have storage space. Your daughter may wear a size 2t now, but she will eventually be a size 5. That vintage wool princess coat will eventually fit her. If you wait until she’s a size 5 to find a coat, the inventory then may not have anything you like. You may have a perfectly fine pair of white keds now, but they will wear out. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a new pair sitting in the closet waiting it’s turn?

6. Be picky.Inspect clothes carefully, you don’t want to have to pay to mend clothes or worse get home and find a bleach stain or worse.¬† Just because it’s only a dollar, doesn’t mean it’s a good buy. Even if an item has no flaws, be selective. Does it fit perfect?If not, is it worth the price of either your time or professional alterations? Is it comfortable? Will you wear it often?¬† Do you really need another pair of black trousers? How often are you going to wear a sheer blouse? Does it work with what you already own? How will you put together great looks if your closet is stuffed.

7. If possible, get to know shop employees. They may be willing hold items for you or at least call you when a donation of your interest comes in. A girl at my shop, will hold all dresses, she thinks are vintage and my size for one day. In return, I bring her son goodies from my job that I get at cost. There may be something they saw in the back, hasn’t been put out yet, you might like.This is especially true of consignment shops. Yes the prices are a bit higher but you the inventory has been presorted of junk. Besides notifying you of merchandise, maybe you could workout a donation/discount deal.¬† I go to a shop, donate all my son’s quality outgrown clothing, I get a discount fthe owner deems fair.

8. Here’s what I’ve found shopping yard/tag sales.¬† The wealthier the neighborhood the more they expect you to pay for goods. Obviously this is not always true but I find it to be true most of the time.¬† The attitude is like I payed 60 dollar for that coat, your getting a deal if I sell it to you for $15.¬† Or that comforter came from Bloomingdales you should be happy to get it for $40.¬† What then happens a lot, nobody buys much, they just donate it and it ends up in the thrift store. ūüôā¬† If you really have to have an item try a little haggling first. Remind them they wanted to get rid of all this stuff. Not have to haul it all away, and have another sale or donate it and get nothing but a tax receipt.

Now in the more modest neighborhoods, people are much more likely to let things go rock bottom. The only exception is brand new items.

In all instances be nice, and ask the sellers if you’re looking for something in particular. Especially at estate sales. They may have know idea you’d love all those old full slips they were going to donate. Or that fur trimmed coat from the 50’s.

9. Never be too quick to judge a shop or sale. You may see what looks like a bunch of junk but way back in the corner there’s a lone vintage wicker purse for 50 cents. Do a quick but thorough¬† walk through everywhere. One of my best buys was at a resale shop here in Atlanta that caters to teens. There are several around. I went in with my daugher, and found a brand new Chloe bag for $10! I can only imagine some wonderful grandmother bought this as a gift for her grandaughter who then decided it was too old lady for her. Score for me!

10. Tag team.¬† Have friends and family who know you pick up things for you and you do the same.¬† It may not be right for you, but it’s perfect for your sister. Buy it and she’ll do the same for you.

Hope these help and happy, bountiful thrifting wishes to all! With a little effort you’ll get the joy of¬† responding to compliments on your attire with a¬† “I got it for $2”.

Manicure and Deshine in under a minute at your desk!

I am one of those people who can’t keep a manicure. Between bathing a a four year old, dishes, shampooing clients my polish doesn’t last. Add to that I am really lazy about it.I abhor faux nails, so I usually go without polish or wear nude polish so the chips aren’t as noticable.But by doing this my finger tips were missing that enduring charm( great ad isn’t it)I was feeling a little charm deprived¬† so I went to off in search of liquid charm and¬† discovered Sally Hansen color quick nail pens. They are super portable, and dry insanely fast. I’ve found that if I keep a mini manicure kit and one of these in my purse I can give myself a good quick manicure at my desk in 30 seconds plus another 30 to dry. Seriously. I do one coat lasts the day, the nest day I just pop another coat on.Day 3 I remove and start over. I was buying individual wrapped remover pads but at 50 cents a pop that can add up. I’ve found by soaking cut up baby wipes in remover and storing in little ziploc baggies( at craft stores for jewelry) I can make about 50 for the price of just a few store bought. If you’re going for a vintage look, remember to leave the moons and tips bare when applying polish. For an indepth tutorial on an authentic vintage mani check out the fabulous vintage-manicure-real-one.html

I’ve also found that unbleached brown paper towels, the kind used to dry hands in public restrooms, cut into similar sized pieces and stored in the same baggies,¬† works just as good as any store bought oil blotting papers.¬† I even went super geeky and cut into circles so I could house mine¬† in a fabulous 1930’s compact I found.

Wait for your boss to go get coffee or the lavatory and get busy. You might even have time for a quick eyebrow tweeze.

Published in: on September 13, 2010 at 12:20 pm  Leave a Comment  

Homemaking Hints, the bathroom

In my dreams, I have a perfectly spotless house that I touch up while looking fabulous like all those perfect ads and shows from the 50’s.¬† My reality is far from that. I don’t like cleaning but I do enjoy tips and tricks to make it easier because I do like a clean house. I usually look far from fabulous doing it as well. I have no tips for that, but a few time and money savers.

The first tip I have is use a daily shower cleaning spray. They work. Seriously they really do. Scrubbing Bubbles sells that contraption that circulates and covers your shower with the cleaner. My cousin bought this and assures me that it does what it says it does. Even if this is true, ¬† I don’t and won’t use it. It cost’s about $25 to $30 dollars to save me thirty to sixty seconds of spraying.¬† I am not that lazy. I am also too cheap to spend that kind of money times two and then still have to pay $2 or $3 for the refill. The full bottle that you spray yourself¬† by Tilex is $3 without a sale or coupon. Further I can spray under and behind areas the machine can’t get to or need heavier application.

Of all the brands on the market in my area(ATL) Tilex is performance wise the clear winner. It’s also the most expensive. I hold all coupons that I¬† have until it goes on sale. Arm and Hammer is second in both performance and price.¬† After that we have generics.¬† which range from $1 a bottle to $2.30.¬† Since Tilex works the best I always try to have a bottle on hand in each shower. As I said before I do this as by combining sales and coupons and stocking up. I stretch it even further by¬† only using it in the main¬† shower twice a week once in mine. The other days I use the $1 bottle. I get mine at Dollar General but dollar tree sells it as well. It keeps the scum and mildew at bay I guess but leaves a bit of a dull finish.Tilex leaves it clear and sparkly.¬† I have a large family so we need to spray every day in the main bathroom. Last person to shower gets the job.¬† My bathroom only has a small shower stall and my husband is a big guy so he uses the main bathroom with the kids :). I am the only one who uses this shower so I only spray this bathroom twice a week one with the generic one with Tilex.¬†¬† Obviously you can adjust your use for your bathroom. There are many recipes on the internet for a homemade version. I’ve tried many of them and in my opinion, none of them compare to store bought, besides between less use, generic and coupons/sales, I keep the cost low enough.¬† Here’s a link for recipes if you’re interested

Daily shower cleaner recipes

I’ve found a 50/50 mix of clear ammonia and H20 works as well as any listed above if you can stand the smell.

Okay so we’ve got using a shower spray. I spray it in the sink as well(again twice a week).This is of course after I’ve wiped out the globs of toothpaste that appear daily but¬† nobody¬† in my house leaves there. That damn not me! Don’t let me get a hold of not me! It will be on!

Okay so we’ve got the shower spray, which is kept in the bathroom. Also in the bathroom I keep Comet- still 50 cents a can and nothing works better, a spray bleach cleanser, and a window cleaner both generic.These are kept in a little bucket under the sink which also holds rubber gloves, an old toothbrush and a couple clean rags( cut up old towel or t-shirt).¬† These I use for my weekly cleaning. I also keep a dust brush and pan in there as well. I use this to sweep daily. I keep a basket in both bathrooms. I line the basket with a vintage scarf or big doily to keep it clean and pretty it up.These can be found for next to nothing at garage sales and thrift stores if you need. All items used daily go in there(toothpaste,hairbrush, deodorant, etc). This saves time from having to move and clean under them. Looks neater as well. ¬† While my youngest is in the tub I put¬† anything not me has left out, shake the mat out, then sweep. I do a quick wipe down of everything with the rag. Then hang to dry. That’s it on a daily basis.

On Sunday night (shampoo night) while she’s playingin the tub with conditioner on her hair I am sweeping, cleaning the sink, washing out the toothpaste holder, etc. Basically everything but the big three(sink,tub,commode). Toothbrush holder, setabouts I¬† soak in the¬† little garbage can with hot water, comet and bleach cleanser.

I put both mats in the washer along with the kitchen and hallway mats, basket liner and shower curtain and window curtains if needed. After she gets out of the tub I spray the perimeters and handles with bleach, I spray the toilet, and sink. I sprinkle comet on all the fixtures, all over tub sink and commode.¬† The steam from her bath and the bleach loosen everything up in the time I take to get her lotion, dressed, and brushed, braided.¬† When I come back I take an old bath puff (dont remember how figured this out) and scrub everything down. The old toothbrush gets any crack or crevices the puff doesn’t like around the fixtures. The puff works better than anything else. I used to use those green scotchbrite scouring pads, they’re great but expensive. The puff works just as well and has the added benefits of lasting longer, having a suction and/or rope to hang and dry, seems to stay cleaner as it’s made airy to keep clean with rinsing. I keep one in the kitchen as well for scrubbing. Rinse it all down including the garbage can and items that have been soaking¬†¬† sweep, glass cleaner where needed, rags to dry everything then it’s tossed in the washer. Fresh grocery bag gets tied on the side to line the garbage can.I soak a cotton ball in essential oil which goes between the can and liner for smell goods.

That’s it for me, anyway. ¬† My husband mops the entire house every Sunday evening so we start the house off fresh for the week. I would love to say I have hard woods but alas we’re low rent and have laminate. Hey at least it’s not carpet-yuck. I keep two mats for each bathroom so after the floor is mopped and dried down¬† goes the replacement and we haveplenty of rags. This way I just hang the load to dry(no wasting the dryer) to be put away for the next week rotation. I never buy the rubber backed ones, they fall apart with frequent washing Mine get heavy traffic I wash frequently they won’t work for us. .I do my bathroom Sunday morning after my shower same process takes all of ten minutes. I also keep all the same supplies in there,only difference is I keep a full size broom. This is for the sweeping of my room and the bathroom. I don’t think it cost’s any extra to keep multiples of the same products in each room. I mean each one just last’s twice as long. It saves time and I am much more likely to sweep or wipe down as I see things.

Okay so I know this a big post for a little room heres the cliff notes:

Use a daily shower spray. Cut’s down on scrubbing and there are generics available. You may not need to spray every day.

Do what you can each day to keep clutter and dirt to a minimum.

Keep copies of cleaning supplies in each bathroom.

Comet, and generics of bleach and glass cleaners work fine.

Keep a basket lined with an old scarf or doily in the bathroom to hold all toiletries used frequently.

Nothing beats an old bath puff and toothbrush and cut up old towels for scrubbing, polishing.

When you do a thorough cleaning, try to do it after shower or bath. The steam loosens everything up. Along these lines, give cleaners time to work. You soak your cloths, ¬†you soak your dishes, let the bathroom fixtures ‚Äúsoak‚ÄĚ.

Soak all setabouts in the garbage to clean both at same time.

I won’t say enjoy, but maybe this may help it to suck less.

Published in: on July 30, 2010 at 2:10 pm  Leave a Comment  

It’s no Secret, you can make your own deodorant

I spent a lot of time as a child with a Nana who lived through the depression. She was one of five children in Bronx Irish Catholic family.¬† Waste not want not was a phrase heard at least once a day in her house. Seriously You were allowed one glass of juice at breakfast in a proper juice glass . Every bit of cloth was saved for making something else or a “cleaning rag”. The commercial said “A spoonful does a sink full” so you better not use more than a teaspoon of dishwashing detergent for those dishes.¬† Growing up around someone like this either rubs off on you and you carry on the same way or you rebel and vow never to cut open another toothpaste tube in your life when there’s a fresh tube below in the cabinet.¬† I am of the first type. My husband was amazed that I would choose to cut and use when I didn’t have too.¬† I was amazed that he left the water running while brushing his teeth. Or that he started the shower then walks to the linen closet to grab a towel and then takes off his clothes. Or that he opens a fresh bar of soap when there are one sometimes TWO half size bars in the shower. Or… what were we talking about again? Waste not want not, Waste not want not, do not call husband to bitch.

Okay so my Nana would not let you waste anything. Similarly if she was out of something, she wasn’t going to go out just to buy one thing, ridiculous.¬† Stomach ache and out of Pepto Bismol? A teaspoon of baking soda in warm water will take care of that. Both sides of the cut toothpaste tube scraped clean? The baking soda mixed with a splash of peroxide does an perfectly fine job. Out of deodorant? She had fix for that too.¬† Mix equal parts of baking soda and cornstarch well.¬† She added a bit of cinnamon oil but you could could use lavender, tea tree, basically you want an essential oil with antibacterial properties. Be careful if using cinnamon. Too much is a skin irritant.¬† Keep in a pot type container.¬† She used an old Mums cream deodorant container. Dip a clean damp washrag into the jar and apply to underarms.¬† While this recipe does work keep in mind that it is a deodorant not an antiperspirant. And if the word clinical is something you look for you will be disappointed.

Under the same clinical lines I also know a recipe for a simple antiperspirant. I also wanted to show that every home remedy and recipe I know does not involve baking soda. Again this won’t compare to super strength store bought but works and if all the cancer/aluminum stories worry you, this may work for you. In any case it does the job in a pinch.

Mix equal parts witch hazel, mineral water and aloe vera gel. 1/4 cup each is usually what I use . Add a tablespoon of vegetable glycerin and a few drops essential oils (again with antibacterial properties). You can put in any old spray bottle. Remember to shake before use.


How to Do Finger Waves & vintage hair setting recipes

Please excuse my sweaty face, I live in Georgia and it’s July. Also I was not wearing any makeup, thought just a little lipstick would do it. It didn’t.

Finger waves are probably my favorite vintage hairstyle.¬† I like mine 1920’s style, tight to the head and stiff which incidentally is the perfect hairstyle for coolest hat ever the cloche. I’m also In reading the vintage beauty blogs and site I’ve seen how a lot of girls seem to have more trouble with them than any other style with the possible exception of pin curls.¬† The act of winding hair into a curl is more familiar to modern women¬† than forming deep waves with a comb.¬† A pin curl set also leaves more room for error.

I learned to do both finger waves and pincurls in a vocational high school cosmetology program in the eighties. . Two ladies in their sixties ran the program and taught very old school. I believe the first styling method taught was finger waves as it teaches hair movement and dexterity. We used a “waving lotion” which came as a dry powder that we added water to. I’m not sure but I believe it was gelatin based. Jello is an old school setting lotion as well as flax seed. Lots of ladies use the flax seed recipe which is :

Flax Seed Setting Lotion

1 cup water

1 TABLESPOON whole flax seeds

Bring both to a boil. Cover and simmer about 15 minutes. Strain out the seeds(as many as possible)IMMEDIATELY or they’ll be nearly impossible to get out. Shelf life is about a week out, two if you refrigerate

Optional add-ins are essential oil for fragrance, aloe and/or  glycerin for added moisture. For super hold add a tsp of sugar to the boil.

Another authentic hair setting(and I swear I believe this was the powder we used in cosmetology) is unflavored unsweetened gelatin). We mixed with very hot water and were told by the instructors to water to a consistency we liked.¬† The basic formula started at one teaspoon to one cup. We shook up in applicator bottles with the pointed tips. If working on a more dry, coarse texture conditioner is mixed 50/50 with water to make up the cup needed.¬† Again you may want to add essential oils for fragrance and will last about a week.¬† Jello and kool-aid are both used as temporary color rinses so if you want to use a flavored packet go ahead. The sugar would only increase holding. I don’t know how strong the color would be as when used for dye the powder is mixed straight into conditioner and left on overnight. But it’s safe and temporary so you may want to try.¬† Vegan gelatin mix may also be used.

Okay so I know they’re are plenty of¬† message boards, site with instructions and certainly pdf files and books to purchase. Maybe one more is not needed.¬† But I look at it this way. How many times have you been told how to do something, been struggling, then another person explains it to you differently and you get it?¬† Hopefully it helps someone.

First off you should start with clean hair. Now I usually only shampoo(washing if for dishes as my instructors taught me) once a week.¬† My hair always looks better dirty and dirty hair works better for dry or heat styling, styles better as well. But for wet sets, I believe you need to completely break the bonds of your hair for best results. Don’t condition. Some of you may be freaking out thinking your hair will be out of control. It won’t. The point is to have your hair accept as much styling product as possible. You may use a moisturizing shampoo if you think you need it, some good, affordable options¬† are in the “ethnic” hair section. Try creme de nature by Revlon. Great Stuff. Since I only wash once a week and wear pomade I use a deep cleansing shampoo.¬† If you don’t want to switch shampoos, and think your hair needs more,and you’re using a store bought gel and not one above with added moisture, ¬† use one formulated to be extra moisturizing. Again the best are in the ethnic section.

If you’re going after soft, fluffy waves and are using setting lotion(lottabody) instead of gel, you may need hair clips.¬† A lot of girls use wave clamps which crimp the hair, not a true finger wave.¬† What you need are duck bill clips, sold at any beauty supply. These are just the long straight tapered end metal clips.

Your hair must be wet, Not damp, WET. You may want to have spray bottle with water nearby if you’re hair drys quickly.¬† Comb thoroughly with coarse end of a comb( standard styling comb) From scalp to ends, dragging the comb over the contours of¬† your scalp all around your head.

Make your side part deciding remembering you need to connect the first wave on the small side all the way around your head to the second wave on the big side. If you’re doing this in a mirror, the part should be shorter than you’re used to. See my picture above.

If¬† using a setting lotion saturate hair. Seriously saturate it. I think this is the biggest mistake women today make.¬† Todays products and styles usually demand for “a quarter or dime¬† size dallop” but finger waves require a lot of product. I use Queen Helen styling gel in the big tub and I just dip my comb right into the jar. Then I comb into the area I’m working on. Be generous with the gel, repeat to yourself, be generous with the gel.

Place your index finger right next to the part.Insert the comb coarse side into your hair directly below pressing the comb to your finger. Drag the hair forward about 1/2 inch on your forehead. Don’t lift the comb, but turn it down until flat. Without moving your index finger lay your middle on the comb. Press both fingers against your scalp, while combing the hair below back without dragging. . The purpose is too build up a ridge.¬† Now you should have a ridge and a c shaped section.

Now dip comb in gel again or apply more lotion. Place index finger at the bottom of the ridge and repeat the process in the opposite direction. This ridge should go up around your part continuing on to the small side of your hair to be ended pushed 1/2 on your face. Repeat the process remembering to add more product with each section As you are  going around your head  keep in mind that may have to adjust(lower) where you place your finger so that the waves look horizontal on your head. When I first learned I made that mistake. I would place my finger right below each ridge all the way around and all my waves were curved upwards. And I had way more than needed.

Continue all around the head. Gel, drag,press, comb back and down,repeat. Don’t be afraid of the curls, you are molding the hair, if a ridge looks to flat in a spot, push it up a bit. You will know if you need to insert the duck bill clips or not. I never need to because my hair is short, but for really long or fine hair they may be needed.

For the hair above your ear I like it  forward with a spit curl. If longer you may want to wind forward into a pin curl flat on face.

If working with long hair traditionally pin curls were set on the nape of neck. Remember to follow your pattern when deciding which way to wind. You could also set in rollers, braid hair in several braids to set in waves. Or tie in a loose scrunchy until waves are dry and then do in a bun.

If you want to keep your waves stiff and tight , spray with hair spay.¬† Sitting under a dryer is best, but if you can’t do that look over to see where you may need additional clips. Try to let the waves dry with out disturbing at all. Once set they will last several days if you use a mesh velcro hair wrap(sold in beauty supply stores) or tie a scarf on your head and of course the old standard sleep on¬† a silk pillowcase.

Freshen up with a spritz of water and comb lightly back in place. I always lift the wave on my forehead to wash my face too high and disturb it. I can comb it right back with a spritz of water, sometimes a dab of gel is needed. Light mist of hairspray and you’re looking swell, gal!

Published in: on July 16, 2010 at 2:43 pm  Comments (1)