All Things Fashion DC | At Home Beauty Remedies
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At Home Beauty Remedies

Homemade Beauty

14 Sep At Home Beauty Remedies

by ATFDC Contributor Sophie-Marie

I have never been too much into rejecting consumerism and making everything I can myself (except when it comes to French cuisine, but that’s because it’s impossible to find anything decent and authentic around here). I buy my beauty products from the drugstore and don’t boycott anything that isn’t labelled eco-friendly (because that’s a whole different type of consumerism, but now isn’t the time to open the debate). I dabbled into home-cosmetics in the past, but the most significant plunge, if I may call it so, took place last Thursday, as I was getting ready for Fashion’s Night Out. My skin needed serious exfoliation, and I realized I had finished my Saint-Yves scrub. As I wouldn’t even think of going to CVS without being perfectly made-up (in my defense, I live in Bethesda, which is full of French expats I know), I resorted to making my own, the recipe of which you’ll find below. Since that day, I dabbled a little to develop the other recipes (which is just as exciting as Potion Class on Pottermore).
First, a few tips and tricks:
  • You can find those ingredients in any grocery store, but if you want to go for high quality and organic, I recommend Balducci’s Food Lover Market (10323 Old Georgetown Road, Bethesda – (301) 564-3100). It’s also my favourite place to get on-the-go sushi, juuust sayin’. Also, you will find essential oils at any Whole Foods or even Trader Joe’s.
  • The amounts of herbs and essential oils can vary. I prefer the scents to be rather strong (and I also have an unlimited supply of fresh herbs from the garden…), but if too much odour gives you a headache, reduce the amounts by a third or so.
  • I had glass bottles on hand (from past home-cosmetic-ambition impulse buys), but if you don’t, by all means, you can re-use plastic or stainless steel cosmetics containers. Just rinse them very well and be sure they’re airtight and VERY dry (residues of water lead to mold).
  •  Mold in your products is something you really want to avoid, especially that you don’t have preservatives mass-production safety checks and such. For that, be sure to also let hot mixtures cool completely before closing and refrigerating the recipient, to avoid condensation.
  • Again, since this isn’t manufactured, you may want to be careful about keeping everything extra-clean and germ-free. Your recipients, surfaces, utensils, anything that comes in contact with product that will end up in contact with your spin.
  • As always, do an allergy patch test and check with your doctor if those ingredients are safe for use if you have any specific health issues. I am not liable for any negative side-effects or products misuse, but if you have positive results, you’re welcome to send me flowers. Not red roses, though. I only accept red roses from men whom I might consider to, uh, get to know, in the biblical sense that is, and if you’re reading an article about homemade herbal cosmetics, you sure as hell ain’t one of them.
And now, the fun recipes! 


Baby-skin face scrub:

3 tbsp sugar (brown if skin is in serious need for heavy exfoliation, extra-fine if sensitive skin)
1-2 tablespoons heavy cream or milk

1 tablespoon vegetable oil (olive, almond, sunflower, etc)Mix ingredients together in a small bowl until you obtain a smooth paste of medium thickness (add more heavy cream if too thick-grainy).
Massage on skin in smooth circles. Let rest for 5 minutes and rinse off.Face mask for radiant complexion:
2 tbsp plain Greek yogurtStir the yogurt to eliminate big clumps, until you obtain a smooth, unified texture. Apply on face, avoiding eye area (which you may cover with cold cucumber slices to reduce dark circles). Sit back and relax for 10 minutes. Rinse with lukewarm water.
Miraculous hands and nails lotion:

My great-grandmother used this recipe, and her hands not only remained extremely soft, but she always smelled of mint and a hint of lavender, which until today remind me of her.
3/4 cups vegetable oil (my favorite is olive)
10-15 drops of peppermint essential oil
10 drops of lavender essential oil
Dissolve essential oils in vegetable oil by heating them together in the microwave for 10-15 seconds. Let cool, then pour into dark glass bottle.
Apply at night (the strong scent might bother some, not to mention, oil is extremely slippery… Not a good idea), massaging into hands and nailbed. For added softness, slip on a pair of cotton gloves and sleep in them.
Heavenly hair conditioning treatment:
3/4 cups of olive oil
6 sprigs of rosemary
6 sprigs of lavender
15 mint leaves.

Wash herbs and let them dry well (REALLY important). Pack with oil into a glass airtight container and let infuse for a week. Strain to remove herbs. Apply on hair (about two spoonfuls; the amount depends of length and thickness), focusing on lengths and saturating dry ends. Massage scalp with fingers to stimulate hair growth (there’s no need to apply oil directly there, as it might lead to greasy roots). Wrap hair in warm towel or cloth and keep on for 30 minutes, or overnight for extra moisture. Rinse off with lukewarm water and preferably a sulfate-free shampoo.

Brightening face toner
1 1/2 cups of water
About 1/3 cup of lavender flowers (I use fresh but dry works too).

Bring water to a simmer, and in the meanwhile rinse the lavender and put into a cup. Pour hot water over the lavender and let it infuse for half an hour. Strain the liquid and pour into a dark airtight glass bottle. Keep into the fridge for better results. Apply on cleansed, dry face with cotton ball.


photo courtesy of



Sophie-Marie was born in a small French-speaking Mediterranean country and moved to the DC area in 2006. In 2010, she started her freshman year of college at NYU in Paris and then took a gap year during which she used her free time to blog ( and cultivate herself as much as possible. History, languages,  film, anything about the 1950s and before, literature (19th century French Romanticism is my favourite), opera, are among the many things that inspire her and her style. Follow her on twitter @miss_sonushka