Amla + Hair Conditioner = Wonderful Things!

Processed with VSCOcam with g3 presetThose that know me and try to make plans will know that Sunday is my day – a day to sleep in, catch up on my reading, go for a run and of course, a day of some much needed pampering. Sunday is where the week’s madness comes to a halt and gives one the chance to recuperate in order to face the week ahead; some just prefer to face the week looking their best.

Unless I’m using a hair mask like the Moroccanoil Intense Hydrating Mask or Aussie 3 Minute Miracle I’ll often resort to concocting a mask of my own, and one of my trusty recipes is a generous helping of amla oil mixed into a basic conditioner (I use Alberto Balsam for co-washing, and at £1 a pop it’s a steal). Found in many a Saudi household, I discovered Dabur Amla Hair Oil through a friend and it’s been dressing table staple ever since. Amla is a powerhouse of benefits including its anti-dandruff, properties and its ability to strengthen your locks and give great shine. To condition, most amla devotees favour it in powder form and add water to turn it into a paste, but since amla powder is hard to find I’m happy to use an oil instead. I’m not one for following exact measurements, but I guess I use roughly a quarter to half a cup of conditioner and around 2 tablespoons of amla oil.

Because Sunday means me not leaving the house, I take full advantage of the fact that no one has to see me with a shower cap on so anything less than 3 hours to let this mask work its magic is a no-no – the longer, the better and after lazing around for that long and finally rinsing the mask out you’ll find your hair to be instantly softer, but over time you’ll notice your hair becoming shinier, thicker and just generally healthier. However I’m in need of more moisture, so for next Sunday olive and avocado oil, I’m looking at you.

The Mixstress Workshop | Peppermint and Frankincense Foot Scrub

Body Scrub

It was only until recently after speaking to a journalist from The Sunday Times Style about my love for whipping up my own beauty products that I realised it’s been a very long time since I’ve shared a recipe – and so I confess.. I haven’t made anything in months. With my bathroom cabinet bursting at the seams with products to finish and continuously forgetting to stock up on ingredients it just hasn’t happened. However I’m promising myself to find the time to get back into the kitchen and rediscover the Mixstress. I have a few things I want to try like a bath oil with lots of heady jasmine and ylang ylang, a massage bar à la Lush and even a bath bomb or two. But in the meantime I thought I’d share a recipe I’ve perfected over the years and adore very much, a peppermint and frankincense foot scrub. The amount of body scrubs I routinely get through make me somewhat of a body scrub connoisseur, and for me most foot scrubs in the market lack the grit and exfoliating power I look for in a scrub; they’re often useless jojoba beads suspended in a shower gel-like formula so you’re not able to get the kind of exfoliation your feet needs. However this scrub of mine is super thick and creamy thanks to a special foaming butter but there’s also ground pumice in the scrub to really smoothen the skin. I’ve thrown in peppermint, tea tree and frankincense essential oils for their antifungal properties and together create a great fragrance.

This scrub will ideally keep for two weeks – for roughly three cups you’ll need:

  • One full cup of foaming butter and half a cup of any carrier oil of your choice such as almond oil, olive or even coconut (but note that the latter may solidify). Using an electrical whisk, blend the butter and carrier oil so that the butter softens to a fluffy texture.
  • Frankincense, peppermint and tea tree essential oils – add a couple of drops of the essential oils each into the mixture whilst whisking.
  • Now it’s time for the exciting bit! Add the ground pumice to the mixture very slowly and gradually – too quick and you risk the pumice flying everywhere! I use around 2 cups for a super gritty scrub, but use more or less depending on your butter to exfoliant ratio preference.

The Mixstress Workshop | Dragonsblood Salt Scrub

IMG_5077Sometimes olive oil and a bit of salt doesn’t cut it, you need to take it up a notch. That’s where the Dragonsblood Salt Scrub comes in, and no it’s not special because it contains the blood of a certain mythical creature – that’s just the name of the fragrance oil I’ve added to it. Think patchouli, vanilla, rose, orange and jasmine. Prepare for your bathroom to get filled with its scent.

Unlike the very effective, but sometimes slippery salt and olive oil scrub, this doesn’t give you that usual skin-so-oily-you-might-slip-and-break-your-neck because of a foaming butter I’ve used to give it some thickness and grip. As well as that it also cleanses the skin very gently.

You Need:

2 tablespoons of foaming bath butter

1 tablespoon of soy butter

1 tablespoon of any oil you like – prefeably a scentless oil like almond

4 tablespoons of table salt – increase or decrease depending on how exfoliating you’d like the scrub

3 drops of Dragonsblood fragrance oil

What To Do:

With both butters, oil and Dragonsblood in a bowl, use an electric whisk until fully mixed together

Add the spoons of salt gradually as you whisk

The scrub is perfect for DIY pedi’s and rough bits like your elbows and knees, so if you do try it let me know what you think!

The Mixstress Workshop | A Failed Attempt..

photo 1 (1)

photo 2 (1)One of the many awesome nomadic Somali wedding traditions that before her wedding night, the bride is scrubbed with a mixture of ghee and date paste for soft, smooth and glowing skin. Although I’m not getting married anytime soon I’ve always been curious to try this out, so I decided to have a go at making it myself to share it with you. I had a choice of either using fresh dates or paste, but went for date paste as it doesn’t involve taking any pips out. However I didn’t have any ghee in my kitchen I decided to improvise and use olive oil instead. What happened next was an absolute disaster…

I assumed that a heaped tablespoon of date paste and three tablespoons of olive oil would do the trick, but all I got was some date paste in a sea of oil – nice. No matter how much I stirred, mixed and stirred I couldn’t get the consistency I wanted. That’s when I got out the smoothie maker and whacked the mixture in without thinking about whether the tap for the smoothie maker was open or not. You can guess what happens next.. a puddle of olive oil all over my worktop! A quick cleaning of the worktop later and I waited for the smoothie maker to whip up this scrub for me but shortly after I was spluttering because of the smoke coming from the sides of the machine. I opened the lid and was met with this:

photo 3 (1)That’s what many would call an epic fail so I’m accepting defeat and asking my grandmother how to make it :(

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