Let's face facts: It's too damn cold to even think about venturing outdoors unless you have to. When the temperature drops, and we're relegated to our beds, couches, and baths, we like to use the time productively — that is, by pampering ourselves, of course. But instead of shelling out stacks of Benjamins on new masks and scrubs, we decided to whip up our own. To do so, we teamed up with Anit Hora, the brain behind Brooklyn apothecary brand, Mullein & Sparrow, who helped us create four easy concoctions that will not only relax your mind, but soothe and hydrate your body. Check 'em out, below.
Spiced Body Scrub We all know what winter weather does to our skin. It takes hydrated, plump limbs and turns them into a dry, cracked mess. When this happens (and it will), we like to whip out a gentle body scrub to slough away all the dead skin. This one contains coffee grounds and sugar that works as a manual exfoliant, while the olive oil in the formula hydrates your skin. Plus, thanks to the orange essential oil, cinnamon, and cloves in the blend, the concoction smells incredible, which, if you ask us, makes the banal act of buffing your skin a little more exciting.
Ingredients: 1 oz coffee grounds 2 oz olive oil (use less if you want a coarser scrub) 3 oz sugar 25 drops orange essential oil 1 tbsp powdered cinnamon 1 tsp ground cloves (optional) Generous shavings of orange peel (finely shaved) Instructions 1. In a 4-ounce jar, combine your dry ingredients (coffee grounds, sugar, cinnamon, orange peel, ground cloves) followed by your wet ingredients (olive oil and orange essential oil). Mix thoroughly.
2. Take the finished product into the shower (or bath), grab a few handfuls, and use the mixture to scrub your body. Between uses, keep your scrub in the fridge, and it will last up to one week, says Hora.
Vanilla-Peppermint Sea Salt Spray Sure, it may be the dead of winter, but that doesn't mean we're giving up on our love for beachy, tousled locks — especially since the style is better at withstanding hat hair than stick-straight strands. If any of you are salt spray aficionados, you know that stuff runs out, fast. So we thought we'd whip up a quick and easy version on the cheap. It works as a texturizing spray and doubles as a yummy hair perfume.
Ingredients: 1 3/4 oz distilled water 1/4 oz argan oil 1-2 tbsp sea salt 10 drops vanilla extract 3 drops peppermint oil
Instructions: 1. Pour your distilled water, argan oil, sea salt, vanilla extract, and peppermint oil in a spray bottle, and give it a good shake.
2. Once the sea salt is dissolved and the ingredients are thoroughly mixed, lightly mist the liquid into your hair and scrunch or twist your strands to improve texture. It's normal for the ingredients to separate after use — make sure to shake the bottle before spritzing again.
Chocolate-Rose Detoxifying Clay Mask This mask is full of bentonite clay, which pulls oil and dirt out of your skin, says Hora. Add a little rose essential oil and cocoa powder to the mix, and you'll hydrate and rejuvenate the skin, while smelling like a luxuriously floral cupcake.
Ingredients: 2 oz cocoa powder 2 oz bentonite clay 20 drops rose essential oil 1 tbsp aloe gel, yogurt, honey, or water
2. When you're ready to use your mask, combine 1 teaspoon of the dry mixture with 1 tablespoon of aloe gel, yogurt, honey, or water to create a paste. Hora suggests using aloe if you're looking for soothing qualities, yogurt if you want some lactic acid exfoliation, honey for more moisture, and water for an easy, no-frills mask.
Peppermint-Bark Lip Balm Lip balm addicts, it's time to fall in love with something of your own creation. Namely, this sweet lip balm. The cocoa butter and peppermint oil in the recipe will give the balm a chocolate-peppermint scent, while hydrating the hell out of your lips. Plus, since you'll have enough to fill a few tins, dole 'em out to your squad (or better yet, keep 'em all for yourself).
Ingredients: 3/4 cup coconut oil 1/4 cup melted cocoa butter 1/4 cup beeswax 10-20 drops peppermint oil
Instructions: 1. On low heat, melt the coconut oil, cocoa butter, and beeswax in a small saucepan until liquefied.
2. Drop 2-3 drops of peppermint oil into a small lip balm tin. Spoon the liquefied mixture on top.
3. Repeat using additional tins until the mixture is gone.
4. Let your lip balms set in the fridge for about 15-20 minutes before taking them out and going to town.