Tuesday, 17 March 2015

The Best DIY Face Masks

Update June 10th, 2015: I don't know what happened but i lost all but one of the pretty pictures I spent all day taking and I cannot recover them for some reason. Regardless, take the time to read and feel free to ask questions. 

I LOVE making my own face masks, ever since my teens. So I have been looking forward to blogging about this. There is lots to share!
I have tried alot of different recipes and have refined it down to these beautiful ingredients that I always have around the kitchen.

To start, I will mention that my skin is combination, prone to acne, delicate and sensitive. If you are suffering from acne, I would strongly suggest washing your makeup brushes and using my Apple Cider Vinegar Toner, morning and night. Doing just this clears me up quickly.

Most of my face masks are two ingredient recipes, except for one, it's a little more involved but it is THE BEST face mask I have ever used. I will post that recipe closer to the bottom.If you have all or a few of the following, you have the basis of many lovely face masks and toners:
Plain Yogurt, Coffee, Sugar, Honey, Ground Oats, Tea- usually Green or Chamomile in loose or bag form, Apple Cider Vinegar.

Grinding oats: I use certified gluten free rolled oats. For best results use a coffee grinder, to get that velvety powder that mixes so well. Pulse it for a few seconds at a time so you can control the coarseness of the grain to your liking.  

These are my go-to face masks, but feel free to mix it up with my other suggested ingredients. It's all natural so you cant go wrong!

Honey & Coffee Exfoliator- Coffee is an amazing exfoliator for removing dead skin cells and revealing healthy, new skin cells underneath. It also improves circulation in your face and is an antioxidant, so it has anti-aging benefits as well. This is my go to exfoliator! I will do it at least once or twice a week. Honey also has wonderful healing, antibacterial and antioxidant properties. Mix enough ground coffee with a table spoon of honey till you get a nice spreadable consistency. Add a pinch at a time, you don't need much. 

Soothing Yogurt & Oat Mask- This is a calming and cooling mask. Especially nice for people with sensitive, delicate or rosacea skin. Yogurt has so many benefits for the skin it makes a perfect base for face masks. I mix about 2 tablespoon yogurt to one heaping tablespoon ground oats. You can use this mask as a gentle exfoliator as well if you massage it into the face for about 3 minutes when you put it on, then moisten your fingers and massage the grains on your skin again before taking it off.
Sometimes i will add a touch of honey.

Deep Cleansing & Soothing Face Mask- Cetaphil Cleanser gel and oats! Oats have anti-inflammatory properties, as well they absorb and remove dirt while gently exfoliating. In combination with the best (and affordable) creamy cleanser on the market, they work so synergistically together! Mix about 1 teaspoon of ground oats to 1 tablespoon Cetaphil or until you get a spreadable consistency you like. Massage it around your face for 2-5 minutes. Wash off with a hot face cloth.

Extreme Moisturizing Mask- Do you have face cream you bought but are not really using it and its just sitting around on the shelf collecting dust? Make it into a fabulous face mask! Mix enough face cream with ground oats to spread nicely around your face. Leave it on for as long as you like! Eventually it will dry on the skin and little flakes of oats might fall off. This is really nice to do before hopping into a bath or while you are giving yourself a mani/pedi. Your skin will absorb the cream, taking in the added benefits with it. When you feel like it, wash off the remainder.
Optional: Finely grind some pure green or camomile tea in your coffee grinder and add that to your cream mixture for an added boost.

And now the best for the last... My ultimate face mask beast!

Green Tea Acne & Scar Reducing Mask with Toner

Good for:

-Skin brightening
-Lifting scars (yup!)
-Anti-Aging (can reduce age spots as well)
-Skin softening
The sugar in this mask produces Glycolic Acid; a natural alpha hydroxy acid that exfoliates the skin.


-Green tea, that has been well steeped and cooled. Sometimes I add camomile.
-Apple Cider Vinegar. It is better to buy the kind that says "with the Mother" or raw and unfiltered. DO NOT use any other kind of vinegar. Only Apple Cider.
-White sugar
-Pure Vegetable Glycerin (can be bought at most natural health food stores or beauty supply shop)
-1 drop of pure Geranium, Lemon or Lavender essential oil. ONLY ONE DROP! This is potent stuff. *More than 1 drop is too harsh for your delicate face.

In a bowl mix:

-2 tablespoons green tea
-1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
-5 tablespoons white sugar (i find if they are slightly heaping spoonfuls, i get a good consistency)
-1 tablespoon honey
-An additional 2 tablespoons white sugar
-three drops or about 1/2 teaspoon vegetable glycerin
-1 drop of your choice of essential oil OR 1 teaspoon of fresh lemon juice.
(Geranium or Lavender are both powerful acne treatments. Lemon is also good for acne, as well as brightening the skin and lifting scars.)

Stir together each additional ingredient as you go. The consistency should be a thick, runny paste that slowly pours off your spoon.


Apply mixture to a freshly cleansed face, careful to avoid eye area. Gently massage for 2-5 minutes. Leave on for 5-10 minutes. Moisten fingers and gently massage again for 2 minutes before removing with warm water and face cloth. Immediately follow with the Green Tea Toner (bellow) and a soothing skin cream.
*If you find your skin is too sensitive for this mask, omit the essential oil and just try lemon juice.

Store the remainder in a small glass jar. It will keep for about a week outside of the fridge.

Green Tea Toner:

I use this toner daily. The apple cider balances the Ph levels in your skin and is highly antibacterial, anti-fungal and antiviral which makes it SO GOOD for treating acne. It is refreshing to the skin, although a faint apple cider vinegar smell will linger on your skin for about five minutes. This will last for about two weeks in the fridge. I use this daily, and when i'm feeling lazy i will whip it up with filtered water instead of tea.

In a small glass jar mix:

-1 part Apple Cider Vinegar
-1 part cooled green tea (or camomile or both)


Apply with a cotton pad all over the face, avoiding eye area.
If you find your skin is too sensitive, you can dilute the ACV with more green tea.

PHEW! That was a long one. I tried not to get too technical, so feel free to ask questions. Try the masks and let me know what you think! 

My friend Style Hunter Fox recently posted a face mask recipe in her blog, so i gave it a try. It's an espresso and chocolate face mask, mmmm whats not to love? Check it out:

Testing out Style Hunter Fox's face mask. Yep,
delicious. I approve!

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Mentors: You Need One! How To Be a Good Mentee & Mentor

I have been blessed with having wonderful mentors in my life. They played a role in launching my career as a burlesque performer in the right direction.
It is through my experiences with my own mentors and the fortune of being one myself i felt this blog needed to be written. There are some key methods i learned to acquiring a mentor, that i reveal bellow.

What Is a Mentor?

Mentors are knowledgeable people you can look up to for good advice  and guidance. It is someone you can seek out, or sometimes a mentor can come to you unsolicited. It's important to always be aware and grateful for treasures like these. I feel most people do not realize the importance of a mentor, or even consider having one!

Why It's Great!

This person has been through all the trials and errors. There is no shame (in fact its quite flattering) to ask someone for advice because you would like to be where they are someday.  They can launch you forward in areas you feel you are lacking, whether it is school, a profession, even life obstacles (a life coach is also a mentor) and really give you some good perspective on the direction you should be going and goals you should be making.

How To Be a Good Mentee

If you want to be taken under wing, developing a good relationship, even friendship, is key.

1. Do Not Expect All The Answers.

You have to do the work yourself. Do not expect or feel entitled for someone to give you answers just because they have that knowledge. A mentor has worked really hard to get to where they are. Also, their knowledge gained is how they earn a living! They may even get paid to advise people or teach workshops.

2. Ask Relevant Questions.

Do not overwhelm your mentor with questions. Remember,  you have to do the work yourself. So only ask key questions you feel you are having a hard time finding answers for.

3. Be Respectful.

You have to be able to handle hearing "No." And not be a sensitive Nancy about it. As well, if your mentor seems hesitant to answer a question- back off. It is possible to ask for too much sometimes. Perhaps the answer to your question is something your mentor wants you to figure out on your own. Or perhaps you have not earned it yet/established a good relationship. Regardless, their information has value and you need to respect that.
Say thank you. I also love it when someone follows up with how implementing my advice went.

4. You Scratch My Back, I Scratch Yours. (The most key rule)
If you want to continue (or establish) a healthy relationship with a mentor you must show gratitude and repay the favor! ALWAYS credit your mentors whenever you can, anyway you can...word of mouth, social media, on your website, etc.
How i might credit a mentor on social media: "We had a great show! I couldn't have done it without ______. Thank you so much! If you want to learn how we did that group act, check out  ______'s workshops at _________."
Send business to your Mentor, offer them cash gratuity, gifts, spend money at their business, take them out for dinner, invite them over for a home-cooked meal, volunteer to help them with their own business, etc. These are a few great ways to scratch back. For example i often volunteer to help traveling performers set up their workshops in my area. I will even go a step beyond and offer that they can crash at my home. Traveling and finding accommodation is a huge stress... Basically, if you can be the kind of mentee that will help your mentor, earn them business/clients or take away any stresses they may have, they will ENJOY helping you!

I learned an amazing lesson from a mentor i had long ago... I was asking her for some more detailed information. She looked at me and said point blank "Buy me a nice dinner and bring your notebook."...Immediately i understood. I realized, this is a business woman! She knew her information had value. I need to start acting like a business woman myself and treating my experience and knowledge with just as much value if i want to get anywhere. I took her out for a nice dinner at a restaurant. I didn't have a lot of money at the time, but it was worth it! The advice she gave me i continue to use to this day.

5. Don't Bite The Hand That Feeds You

Do not use your mentors advice against them or try to rip them off. This is not only going to give you a bad reputation, but others will avoid wanting to help you.

6. Copy Catting vs. Inspiration

It is okay to ask for permission to use a method someone else is using. I suggest borrowing inspiration from others but making it your own. It starts to feel like copy catting when someone wants to do everything the same way you are, and/or its all feeling too similar to your style.
In the burlesque world, this can be a sensitive subject sometimes. If you are uncertain if something is unique to your potential mentor, ask permission, its a sign of respect as well.

A Note To Potential Mentors:

It's true you don't owe people anything. I feel like I have been too polite in the past, feeling like i'm obligated to help everyone was energy draining, and I was being taken advantage of/boundaries not being respected. I have since learned to toughen up a little, it's okay to give tough love when it's called for. But don't be that stuck up person who looks down on people and is tight lipped about everything. It is so much more fun to be a person of inspiration! Just don't let people take advantage of you, there are alot of energy vampires in the form of mentees. If you are giving they should give back. Help guide that happy balance between you and your mentee, and enjoy the unique relationship!

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Style Tips Learned From Vintage & Retro Fashion

1. High waisted skirts and pants are more slimming and make your waist look even tiny'ier!
We all have a waist. It's the narrowest part of your mid-section. So accentuate it!
Some peoples waists are placed low or high, depending if they have a short or long torso (i'm a shortie). Keep this in mind when shopping, as it is more flattering if the dress waistline will sit nicely on yours.

Betty Grabel!

2. Wear your garter belt around your waist. NOT on your hips, like a lot of fashion models lead us to believe- I can guarantee you will most likely muffin top. Again, the waist is more slimming and this will shape you nicely under your clothes (if you plan on wearing any). This also means you need to size your garter belt to your waist size, not your hip size. When i realized this, I went from a Large to Small. TIP: If you are planning on wearing your garter belt all day or all evening, first put on your garter belt, then your stockings, THEN your panties... Why? So you can go to the restroom without undoing everything. You're welcome.

Both of beautiful! Just make sure you wear it proper, ladies.

3. Vintage hair-styling is alot of work. But it can be a fun hobby and the end results are dazzling! 
Youtube, hair blogs and books will help guide you.
Here are some suggestions:

YOUTUBE: Lisa Freemont Street 
The Cherry Dollface
Laura Okita

4. Vintage never goes out of style! It is timeless and continues to inspire fashion designers to this day. Retro style is always in good taste my darlings.

5. Nude or Lucite heels make your legs look longer. 
Marilyn Monroe's favorite pair of heels were crystal clear Lucite. Lucite was actually very popular in the 50's for shoe fashion.

Mae West always wore nude heels... I recall reading this in Esther William's autobiography 'The Million Dollar Mermaid', Mae West gave her personal advice about her choice of shoes, and nude was the way to go! She also recommend decorating nude heels with crystals or rhinestones. This is rule i have adopted into my burlesque wardrobe.
These shoes give the illusion of being naturally taller, and a walking on air quality.
Here is some shoe-spiration!