It's valentines week. I've never made a big deal of Valentines - I recognize it, I will purchase a card (read: Valentines Day card purchase at 5pm), but we don't go crazy. This year my husband brought me some roses and some chocolate. It was a lovely surprise. I knew that he had purchased them on the way home that morning - he was working with the horses at 4am and came home at 11:00 that morning. I thought it lovely that he took the time to stop at Safeway and pick some up. He brings me flowers other times too though. Usually after he's done something dumb, so I get flowers rather often. The chocolates were because he had eaten some of my dark chocolate truffle that I had bought and I was waiting for the perfect moment to enjoy it. He didn't know that. Although he SHOULD have known that. So he brought me some chocolate on Valentines Day to make up for the err' of his ways. Smart fella.

I did something too - which brings me to the reason of this post. Natural beauty tips.

My cowboy's and my Valentines conversation went something like this.

Me: Kiss me you fool.
Him: *peck*
Me: That was lame. Kiss me.
Him: *longer peck*
Me: Notice anything different?
Him: You're kissing me?
Me: *hit* Besides that!
Him: .... uh ,,,
Me: I exfoliated my lips! (big smile)
Him: I was gonna say that. Those lips, those are exfoliated lips!
Me: I know!!! (bigger smile)

Me? Giving a beauty tips. I know it's silly. But I love it when I find something natural that works and I just want to tell you about it. I have an opinion on just about everything, but you already know that.

My husband tells me I'm as pretty as a horse all the time. People ask me ... what is your secret?My standard answer is 'lack of stress and alcohol.'. Then I go do 50 Hail Mary's and repent. Because one thing there is no lack of in my life is stress and alcohol. I've been told I look young for my age. Old fart age of 50. Maybe I do, although I was just told yesterday that I look my age, so who knows. I'll tell you my secret to looking my age then.

My mom gave me great advice when I was around 14. She said to moisturize my face daily and I did and have continued all of these years. I'm sure that has a lot to do with it. I also eat fairly healthy and try to drink a lot of water. And being as lazy as I am I do love my sleep. Getting your zzzzz's is a good thing - so do it. Do I drink that much alcohol? I'll admit it - not really. A glass of wine maybe or a G&T every once in a while. I'm not what you'd consider a 'drinker'. But don't tell everyone 'cause I like my 'bad girl' rep. I'm not a smoker either. I've smoked though - when I play a role where my character has to smoke, I obviously have to smoke too. I remember this one actor Paul, that I happened to be dating at the time and who was an avid smoker, saw me in rehearsal and almost fell over laughing. He said "It's like watching your little sister smoke for the first time. You look so lame." Pffft. I was crushed. I actually had to take lessons from some girlfriends of mine on 'how to look like a smoker'. Who knew? Guys have a certain way of smoking and girls have another way. The length of the puff, the way you hold the cigarette. There's an art to it. But I digress yet again, this post has nothing to do with smoking. It's supposed to be about beauty and smoking isn't beautiful ... unless you have long evening gloves on and a long cigarette holder like Cruella DeVille .

Here's my tips -

  1. Be lazy. Yes. You heard it right, Be lazy. It is me who is writing this you realize. If I can be lazy at something and it works I'm going to go for it. In other words, don't overwork your face. I don't mean stop talking or using your face for emotions, but don't wash it constantly. Don't use 32 different creams and all that. Keep it simple. Wash it once a day and preferably at night so that your face can repair while you sleep. Tone. Moisturize. Go to bed. Splash some water on it in the morning and moisturize again. 
  2. When you moisturize don't forget your neck or your decolletage - this is something that my mom didn't tell me and I wish that she had. I didn't start doing it until the last few years. There's no point in having nice skin on your face and then turkey neck and chest. That's just weird. I even go so far as to use the extra moisturizer on my hands too. Not that my hands look incredibly young, they don't. But can you imagine what they would look like if I didn't?

The last few years I have been in search of a natural way to take care of my skin. I have found a couple of tricks and I wanted to pass them on to you. I have been washing my body in the shower with natural soap for years. You can find them readily in specialty stores and they work really well. But my face? Soap on my face? No way. That is until I was at the farmers market this past summer. There was a stall that was selling natural soap. I decided to get some for me and my daughter and that's when the girl pointed out this facial soap.


"Soap on my face? Really? I've never used a bar of soap on my face." I said as I scrunched it with a look of horror and disgust.

"Really, its made for your face." she said.

"For an old face like mine?"

"For an old face like yours."

Butter me up like that and I'll buy anything! So I purchased a bar of it and I'm here to tell you  "I love it!" The name of the local small company is Watershed Naturals. Their website is www.watershednaturals.ca. The particular soap I purchased was the "Bergamot & Lime Goat's Milk Yogurt Bar". Their other soaps are wonderful too (I use them in the shower) and I love to promote a local company. The thing is this bar of facial soap is going to last me at least two years if not more. Two years! I only use it on my face and neck - although I could certainly use it in the shower if I wanted. I wash with it once a day in the evening. I cut the bar in half and put half of it into a travel soap dish and popped it in my bathroom drawer. The other half is in the cupboard to be used in a year or two. The entire 130g bar of soap cost me $8. Do you have any idea how much I am saving in facial products? Millions I tell you millions...ok, but hundreds at least.

Step 2 - I started  using a natural toner to restore the pH balance in my skin after washing it with the soap. It's a simple recipe that works really well. 1 part natural rose water. 1 part unprocessed natural apple cider vinegar. I bought a little container from the Dollar Store and mixed up some rose water and ACV. I plopped it in the drawer along side of my facial soap. In the evening I put some toner on a cotton pad and swipe it over my face after cleansing with my bar of soap.

Step 3 - moisturize. That's it. Done. Beauty routine over. I am still looking for a natural moisturizer that I like. I have not found one yet. When I do I will l let you know. But in the mean time - I am really happy to be using mostly natural products on my skin. And my skin? Looking better than ever. Really. This combination works very well, and cheap like borscht. My skin tone has evened out and my skin is glowing. I actually noticed it. Glowing. Either that or I was having a hot flash. Rosacea? Gone.

What about the exfoliated lips you say? Well, I'm here to tell you I have found a use for white death. Yes sugar has made it into my life again. I have to use the pound of sugar I have in my pantry somehow right? Oh I do occasionally add it to a recipe, I'll admit, but for the most part I stay away from it. Except when I exfoliate my lips. You apparently can make a batch of this stuff and keep it for a week, but I like to make it one dose at a time. I take a teaspoon from the drawer and put a little white death in it. Then I put a few drops of EVOO (Olive Oil) in the spoon along with a drop of Pure Vanilla Extract. If I put the spoon over a candle I'd look like an odd addict of some sort, but instead I mix it together with my finger and rub it gently on my lips. It exfoliates the dead skin, moisturizes and tastes sweet. After I wipe it off with a face cloth I'll seal it with some Burt's Bees lip balm. Makes my lips lovely, smooth and kissable. Remember the reaction of my husband? You too can experience that sort of romance. Go ahead give it a try!