There's nothing wrong with pampering yourself sometimes.
Winter time is cover-up time. We let our skin, nails, and hair take a little more abuse during these months. It's easy to ignore them when they're hiding under hats and gloves. The early spring sun, however, reminds us that we'll soon be outside with less clothes on.
Giving yourself a good manicure isn't as hard as you think. As pleasant as it is to have someone else do all the work, you can have a pampering experience right in your own home. Gather together:
Nail polish remover (if needed)
Nail polish (base coat, color, and topcoat)
Chamomile or lavender oil
You're going to want to start by removing any old nail polish. It's important to wash your hands after you do this to eliminate any remaining acetone. Then, you'll want to clip your nails and file them down. Remember, when filing, to only file in ONE direction (back and forth will break them.)
Next, rub a little bit of Brilliant Daily Body Serum Antiox Multi-Task Elixir around each nail and let it soak in so that your cuticles become softer. Use the cuticle stick to push back your cuticles, but avoid the urge to trim them down! Trimming cuticles with a scissors or clippers is just begging for bacteria to come in.
Now for a little chemistry: make this quick hand exfoliant: Combine a few tablespoons of Raw Honey and equal amount of Rice Flour. Get your hands wet, then grab a scoop and gently scrub-a-dub-dub. Rinse off with warm water.
It's time to slather on the serum! We pack it with amazing ingredients like rose hip seed oil, rice bran oil, and tea extracts so that it can repair, rehydrate and revitalize your skin.
Once you've thoroughly moisturized your hands, it's time to apply your polish. First, layer a good base coat and let it dry for at least two minutes. Then, add your color, one thin coat at a time. You'll notice that pushing back your cuticles makes painting your nails easier! Finally, finish with a topcoat. Some can contain formaldehyde, so research ingredients carefully.
Once you've completed your manicure, why not have a cup of tea? Here are a few delicious tea recipes from The Herb Tea Book, by Susan Clotfelter, to propel you through these last cold weeks into spring.
1/2 cup peppermint leaves
1/4 cup black tea
1/4 cup coarsely ground cinnamon stick
1 1/2 teaspoon cardamom seeds with the outer pods removed
1 1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground star anise
1 teaspoon coarsely ground cloves
Add 1 1/2 teaspoons of the blend to just-boiled water; steep for 5 minutes. Strain if needed and add milk and honey if desired.
Warming Winter Tea
1 cup roasted dandelion root
1/4 teaspoon coarsely crushed cinnamon
1/4 cup cardamom seeds, outer pod removed
1/4 cup dried, chopped ginger root
1/4 cup star anise
Add 1 1/2 teaspoons of blend to just-boiled water; cover the saucepan and simmer for about 10 minutes. Strain the liquid into mugs and add 1 teaspoon honey and a splash of milk to each mug. Garnish with nutmeg.
Winter Sunshine Tea
3 1/2 tablespoons freshly grated ginger root
1 1/2 tablespoons lemon zest
1 1/2 tablespoons orange zest
9 cardamom pods
8 cups water
6 cinnamon sticks
2-inch piece of vanilla bean
Combine all ingredients into a non-reactive saucepan. Bring to a rolling boil, then simmer uncovered for 20-25 minutes. Pour through a strainer and into a warm teapot. Serve in cups with cinnamon stick; add honey to taste. Makes 6 cups.
Thank Heaven It's Spring Tea
2 heaping teaspoons fresh chopped nettle leaves, or 1 heaping teaspoon dried
2 heaping teaspoons fresh chopped spearmint leaves, or 1 heaping teaspoon dried
2 teaspoons unsprayed fresh rose petals, or 1 teaspoon dried
1/2 teaspoon dried aniseed, slightly crushed
4 fresh strawberries, sliced
1 quart water
Bring the water to a boil. Place the remaining ingredients into a warmed teapot. Pour boiling water over the herbs and strawberries, cover, and let steep for 10 minutes. Strain and serve. To make as a sun tea, put the herbs in a jar, pour room-temperature or cold water over them, and set the jar outside in the sun and forget about it for an hour or two. Serve over ice with fresh strawberries as a garnish.