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Whipped Olive Butter (Body Butter)

olivebutter2Olive oil is naturally packed with anti-aging antioxidants and hydrating squalene, making it an excellent choice for hair, skin, and nail care and a staple in every naturalista’s basic kit. Just like coconut oil, I consider it a must-have.

Olive butter (body butter, not edible butter) takes it a step further and in the winter time, it can be a saving grace for chapped skin and lips. The problem with buying it though, is in general, the commercial products are either made from olive oil that has been hydrogenated to give it a creamy texture or made by mixing shea butter with olive oil. The latter isn’t really olive butter. It’s shea butter with olive oil, or whipped shea butter.  If I want shea butter, I’ll buy shea butter, thankyouverymuch. Stop with the trickery!  So, rather than be roped in by the shyster’s peddling their Shea butter blends cleverly disguised as olive butter, I decided to make my own and it was unbelievably easy. You only need 2 or 3 ingredients!! For once, I actually measured, too! Except the temp. I didn’t measure the temperature. Oh well. Use your best judgement.

Shae’s Olive Butter
Ingredients:
8oz Olive Oil
2oz Bees Wax

Optional: Lemongrass or other essential oil. (I used 20 drops of Lemongrass)

Tools:
glass bowl
Rubber Spatula or other scraping tool
Mixer with whisk attachment or stick blender

Using a glass container, like a measuring cup or glass bowl, heat your olive oil in the microwave for approximately 1-1.5 minutes. You want it hot, but not super hot. Add your bees wax and stir. Keep stirring until the bees wax completely melts. You’ll need to place it in the microwave a couple more times. I heated for 15 seconds at a time. You just want the wax to completely melt, to blend with the oil.

Once the wax is thoroughly melted, stir in 10-20 drops of your favorite essential oil (Totally optional) and let the mixture sit for a few minutes to cool, stirring occasionally. Once the mixture cools to the point where it is semi solid, like melted butter, whip it with the whisk or stick blender until it has a smooth, creamy consistancy.

Tips:

1. Cut the beeswax into chunks, shred it or use granules. It will melt faster.
2. If you use an EO, be sure it’s one that won’t irritate your skin. Lemongrass is an anti-microbial and anti-bacterial. Lavendar also offers healing properties.
2. You can use a double boiler for this. I chose the microwave because I didn’t want any moisture to get into my glass at all, including steam.
3. A mixer with a whisk attachment works better than a stick blender for this recipe.
4. If you want a harder butter, use less Olive oil or more wax. A 1:3 ratio makes a pretty firm butter. (1oz wax, 3oz oil)
5. You can use this same recipe with other oils, like macadamia, almond, avocado, etc.

Enjoy!!

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Bentonite Hair and Face Mask

As you may already know, I’m a glass artist aka lampwork artist. I make small sculptures by melting and shaping glass rods using a torch. Most times I work off-mandrel, but I started off as a bead maker. Apparently, I’ve always been a mixologist because I also make my own bead release (a type of clay that you dip your mandrel in so that the melted glass won’t stick). Well guess what? Two key ingredients in bead release are Bentonite and Kaolin, both of which are SUPERB deep conditioners for your hair. I had no clue!! I’ve actually never used Kaolin in my hair, but if Bentonite were a man, I’d marry him! As much as I love my henna, I must say Bentonite is closing the gap pretty darned quick!

Anyways, on to my recipe:

(Keep in mind I don’t measure anything, sooo…)

Bentonite (Green Clay, Mutani Mitti, Fuller’s Earth)
Plain Whole Fat Yogurt
Coconut Oil
Coconut Milk
Deep Conditioner (your choice)
Baggie Cap (or plastic bag)
Medium Size Ziploc bowl (or snything similar, because they’re cheap, disposable and have lids)

Put about 2oz bentonite into a good size bowl. Moisten with some water. Some people use distilled, but I used tap. Use enough to get it thoroughly wet. It should be extremely thick. Add 2Tbsp or so of cocnut oil, 2oz yogurt and 4oz coconut milk. Mix well. Mixture will be very thick (soft clay, not quite runny). If it’s too thick, add a bit more water or milk. If it’s too thin, add a bit more clay, but not too much because the clay really swells up.

Hair:
Spread through your hair, making sure that ever strand is coated. Smooth lots on the surface and smush it down so that it gets on your scalp. Let air dry for at least 30 mins. You can leave it on for as long as you like as it won’t harm your hair. Rinse well and follow with a deep conditioning treatment with baggie cap.

Face:
Smooth over face about 1/4″ thick and let dry for 5-10 mins (any more than 15-20 mins may cause irritation). Rinse well.

Tips:

1. I use the Glad/Ziploc bowls because they have lids that fit tightly so that leftovers can be stored for future use. This mask will keep in the refrigerator. Just add a bit of water to rehydrate.

2. When I used the mask on my face, I left it on for 20 mins. Way too long for my skin! I had a sort of red/rashy thing starting up but I just rubbed aloe all over my face and it went away immediately.)

3. If you have shorter hair, you can use less ingredients. Again, I don’t measure anything so just use what you think will be enough. (You can also use just straight Bentonite with nothing but water and a bit of oil for slip.)

4. You can mix it with just water, if you like. Whatever works for you.

5. Sometimes, I add  Maka (Bhringraj) to the mix. I buy Hesh brand and use half of it. It’s really good for your scalp and skin.  I’ve noticed my hair is a lot softer afterwards when I add it in. I also add it to my henna mix, if I’m not using Karishma.

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Flax Cream for the Hair and Body

I found out about flax cream on Nappturality.com and have made a couple of batches that I liked, but tonight I tried something new (more oils) and it came out freakin’ awesome!!! It’s been colder than normal for the past few days, so my feet have been a bit dry & rough. I put some of this cream on them and they are butter soft now. I love, love LOVE it!!! It’s much lighter than my standard mix.

Just like the rest of my concoctions, I didn’t measure anything this time either, so all measurements are approximate.

4-5Tbsp Unrefined Shea Butter
2-3Tbsp Coconut Oil
1oz Avocado Oil
4oz Flax Seed Gel (thick) (recipe here)

Mix the shea with the oils until it’s smooth. Fold in the flax gel a little at a time and whip until it’s fluffy, like whipped cream.

Tips:

1. I usually soften my shea in the microwave, but since it’s such a small amount and it’s mixed with oils, I recommend doing it by hand. Heat isn’t necessarily your friend when it comes to shea butter (causes graininess).

2. This is a very light mixture, so it works great on fine/silky hair but it might be a bit oily if you use too much.

3. If your shea is grainy, it’s ok. My shea is a bit grainy this time, which leads me to believe that it was previously melted and cooled. The graininess has not affected the effectiveness of the end product. The grains “melt” in if you rub them.