I absolutely adore Martha Stewart's Living magazine. Every month its full with decorating tips, yummy recipes, craft projects and so much more. The magazine can be difficult to find as its an American publication but fortunately Ms Stewart has created the best ipad magazine by making a digital edition of Living magazine. Its the same as the printed version but with so much more, the photos are interactive, you can easily switch from article to recipe and there are behind the scenes videos. In this months April edition there is an article about soap making and the pictures look so good that I will definitely give it a try.
To the basic recipe you can add citrus, herbs or berries to create a fragrant handmade soap. Orange oil is said to lower your blood pressure, Mint is used to relieve painful, itchy skin, Lemon is a great kitchen soap as its a natural deodorizer and has antiseptic elements in the oil of its peel and Thyme is believed to sooth the skin and muscles.
This is recipe as published in the Martha Stewart Living magazine:
We used plain, unscented glycerin soap base for these projects (available at most craft stores) Soap bases with natural additions, such as aloe vera, goats milk, or olive oil are great too.
1.Wash and dry all fruit and herbs;use whole berries, herb leaves, or citrus rinds with pith removed. Puree separately in a food processor. To make the herb purees, you may need to add 1 or 2 tablespoons of water; place pureed herbs on a coffee filter, and wring out excess liquid before mixing into soap. Set purees aside.
2. To determine how much glycerin soap base you need, fill mold with water (they use clean dry containers as molds such as milk cartons, drink boxes, cans or yogurt cups) then pour the water in a measuring cup or glass bowl. Note the amount pour out the water, then dry the mold completely. Evenly coat interior of the mold with cooking spray or petroleum jelly; wipe out excess.
3. Use a dough scraper to chop soap base into 1/2 inch pieces. Microwave soap in the measuring cup or glass bowl covered with a paper towel on medium in 30-second intervals until melted but not boiling. Add more soap pieces as needed, and continue melting. Remove from microwave and stir until smooth.
4. Start with 1 teaspoon puree per cup of soap. Add more as desired. The colour will intensify as the purees steep in the warm soap; stir frequently to keep soap from setting. Heavy additives may settle at the bottom, while light ones float to the top. For consistent distribution; let the soap cool (but not solidify); then stir in puree, and pour into mould.
5. fill small container 3/4 inch full with soap; for cartons, fill partially to form 1 bar at the bottom, or completely to make a block for slicing into bars. Spray surface with alcohol to eliminate bubbles. Let soap set, 20 to 60 minutes, depending on size. Transfer mold to freezer for 2 hours (this will help the soaps release from the molds).
6. Tear away cartons to unmold bars. For hard containers, pry soap away from the sides, and press bottom of container to release. Neaten soap edges with paring knife. Slice bars into smaller once. use soaps within 3 to 4 months.
Last week Hollywood icon Elizabeth Taylor passed away. Know for her acting, multiple husbands and diamant collection for me she is most famous for having Hollywood's finest eyebrows. Elizabeth Taylor came onto the scene in the 50's. A time when makeup and eyebrows went trough a change as result of Christian Dior creating the New Look and makeup had to respond. The New Look mirrored the international desire to extravagance and opulence after all the rationing and privation during the war years. The result was an era of elegance and sophistication. The graceful totally feminine fashion required an equally strong face. To support the drop-dead chic fashion the face had to be perfect. Not an extra, offending hair was allowed to sprout as eyebrows arched into exaggerated grace. The eyebrow was cultivated, pampered and manicured into a soaring arch that peaked over the exact centre of the iris. The brow was full and considered a statement of feminine perfection. but the whole face had to be perfect and the arching brow was often worn with fuchsia or red lips and a flicked eyeliner.
So also Elizabeth Taylor's brows, the MGM makeup department carved the brow into a basic shape that she maintained over all those years. Squared off nearest the nose, these are no escaping paisleys or frightened tadpoles. They march resolutely up to the top off the eye and take off into a sudden, downwards angle, tapering off, long and low. These are major brows, wide, black, full and expressive as much a part of Taylor's personality as her violet eyes and her wasp waist.
If you are not blessed with 50s style arched brows you can use an eyebrow pencil to create more off a curve. Always make sure you're pencil is very hard, when testing the colour on the back of your hand it shouldn't give of any colour. Your skin around the brow is more oily so a soft pencil will smudge within a few hours. Shu Uemura does a great eyebrow pencils, hard formula, witch only releases colour pigment when it interacts with the oils in your brow hairs. This pencil gives you a smudge proof and long lasting result. They do 3 different hardness, I prefer the hard 6 but if your skin is very oily use the 9. Use a pencil close to your hair colour but never go to dark and also make sure the tip of the pencil is very sharp.
To create the perfect shape: From where your brow start to the highest point of the arch, draw little hairs in a upwards movement. When you reach the highest point of your brow, tip your pencil slightly and draw the line in a downwards motion until you reach the end point. You can see me using the Shu Uemura refillable eyebrow liner, a great pencil that unfortunately is being taken out of production. A similar product is the Clinique Instant lift for Brows pencil. Brush the brow with a eyebrow brush or clean tooth brush if you are after a more natural effect. If you have dark hair and very light brows, or if you went a bit tweeze crazy you can also use a eyebrow powder instead of a pencil, always use this with a special eyebrow brush witch has an angled shape.
I will soon post a blog about tweezing eyebrows.
Other famous eyebrows
History of the eyebrow taken form the book 'the eyebrow' by Robyn Cosio
Some of you might remember that at the end of last year I went to Turkey with hairdresser Mufide to shoot a couple of fashion and beauty stories.Dutch magazine the Beauty mag has used some of the images, and backstage shots, to accompany a lovely interview with Mufide.
They also used this lovely shot of model
Cecilia sporting a shiny pink lip.
The magazine links my blog to see the backstage videos. To avoid you having to scroll down my blog to find them, here they are again.
March is a perfect month for a pre-spring break, the long days of grey clouds and cold spells are catching up with me, so time to escape to the sun! I quite enjoy packing for a holiday, making a list of what to bring, with just a few key pieces working out cool but comfortable outfits, I always try to pack light. So also in my cosmetics, here my essentials for a fool proof, small holiday makeup kit.
On holidays I like to keep my makeup simple, I will be going for a soft bronzed look with my staple red lip. I will opt for a lip stain during the day but swap it for my favourite red lipstick in the evening. These are the multifunctional products that I'm packing: Skin: *Aveda tourmaline charged hydrating cream, perfect all round moisturizer to boost your skin radiance. *Lancome hydrazen tinted moisturizer, this covers enough for holiday skin and has a low SPF *Guerlain Terracotta touch pure gold concealer, great under tired looking eyes. *Shu Uemura cleansing oil, I will not use anything else to clean my skin. This oil will take off all your makeup and leaves your skin feeling very soft. When skin is very dry you can also use it as a mask. *Lancome Eclat Miracle, a serum that will boost your skins radiance, i like to apply it on my cheek bones. Eyes: *Clinique lash doubling mascara, if you like swimming or are going to very warm weather its advisable to bring a waterproof mascara. Or in my case one that doesn't smudge and only comes off with warm water. *Clinique, instant lift for eyebrow pencil, this fills in your brows to open your eyes. It also has a highlighter that you can use on your eyebrow bone for an extra lift. *Lancome crayon kohl in bronze, I always pack a kohl pencil just in case you want to give your eyes some extra definition. Apply around the eyelashes and smudge with your fingers for a soft smokey look. *Bobbi Brown shimmer brick in Bronze, the master of all holiday products. You can use this brick as a bronzing powder, as a blush, as a highlighter and as eyeshadow. Lips: *Max Factor lasting lip tint, this is a 'magic marker' that stains your lips. The colour holds a few hours and gives you a lovely reddish colour, like you just ate all the cherries! *Lancome L'absolue Rouge in 134, my all time favourite red. Transforms a clean face in to a made up face with one swipe. This red/orange tone goes great with bronzed skin. *Vaseline, to use as lip gloss. On its own or over the lip stain and lipstick. I also use it as a cuticle cream.
*And of course I cant go anywhere without my jar of Nivea. Good for everything, face cream, face mask, body moisturizer and hand cream.
How to: With the tinted moisturizer, under eye concealer and serum you can create a glowy, fresh skin tone. Use the shimmer brick on your eyes for a soft bronze touch and use it as a bronzer on your cheecks. Define your eyebrows and apply a coat of mascara. I little colour on your lips and you are ready to enjoy the sunshine! In the evening add a bit of khol to your eye makeup or apply a stronger lip colour.
Other holiday essentials, *Nivea Sun moisturising sun spray, I never go lower then SPF 30, even on cloudy days. This is my favourite sunscreen and I use it all spring/summer long on face and body. Protection is the key! *Aveda Sun care After sun hair masque, this will restores and repair sun exposed hair for when the sun and sea makes your hair feel like hay. *a good after sun, this ultra moisturizing Clinique cream is a rescue balm with Aloe. It calms the skin and help prevent sun exposure from becoming future damage. Use it on face and body. *Pale legs are never a good look so I will use a self tan just before I leave. My favourite is the Self tan milk from Jil Sander, this is the best smelling self tan ever! I also like the Clinique self sun products.
Muji has great little bottles to decanter some off your big bottles in.
Last week I shot this lovely fashion story with photographer Odi Caspi.
Would you like to recreate this voluminous hair do? There is a little cheat way of doing it yourself. Lovely model Amber introduced me to the hair extensions of Ken Paves, this brand has been around for years but I never gave it much attention cause of the whole celebrity endorsement. (these extensions are the Jessica Simpson once) I know, I was a bit snobby but I'm taking it all back as the extensions are amazing! Especially the Bump up the Volume one you can use to create this hairstyle.
This virtually undetectable hair extension makes it easy for you to enjoy great root height without putting hair through the damaging teasing process.The hair extension has a half-circle base with five moldable wires and four pressure-sensitive clips to create lift and volume simply by pushing up on the piece. You can place it on the crown to create a bit of 60's volume or close to the hairline, as I did, to create mega volume. You can choose how much volume you like by changing the place of the clip in the back. Secure it low down for a little bit of height, or close to the front clip for a towering hair do. Just brush over your own hair and nobody can see you are wearing a hairpiece. For more info have a look on the hothair website.
To recreate this hairstyle; -apply a root lifting product to the roots of your hair and roughly blow dry -use rollers or a big barrel hair curler, to create volume at the root and a soft wave in the rest of your hair. -let the curls cool -brush your hair to soften the waves and add a shine serum like Aveda's light element smoothing liquid. this will smooth and condition your hair. -now you can or backcomb the roots of your hair of the front section and crown to create volume, or you could clip in your bump up the volume extensions. -softly brush the hair to make it smooth and set with hairspray.