You keep spending money on hair and skin products that suck.

A conditioner that fails to leave your hair in top condition. A sugar scrub that makes you almost slip and fall in the bathtub. Unimpressive toner, and shampoo that leaves your tresses coated with residue. What’s a bella to do?

Instead of getting all kids of pissed off or spending your hard-earned cash on expensive products to replace the ones that disappointed you in the first place, turn to your kitchen pantry. Take some advice from Anita Grant – as a self-described mixtress, she knows exactly what kitchen finds and spice cupboard staples can help fix your beauty blues.

Anita’s old blog, Ingredient Junkie, and the new version Life of a Mixtress, both gives recipes and ideas for aspiring mixtresses to try out.

When I interviewed Anita, she gave me fantastic ideas of at-home beauty remedies. Here are the items she says any bella should have on hand for easy beauty fixes.

Honey heated and mixed with Olive oil makes a great hot oil treatment

– Sugar massaged onto wet or damp skin & scalp to exfoliate and adds moisture to rough skin

– Extra virgin olive oil can be used all over the body — to moisturize skin and hair.

– Sea Salt as an exfoliant

– Baking soda multi purpose

Turmeric is an anti-inflammatory great for skin conditions including: eczema, psoriasis and acne plus it can also be used as a natural hair dye.

– Flaxseeds to make hair gel

Fenugreek soaked in water makes a nice hair conditioner

– REAL coconut water from the coconut to use as a final conditioning hair rinse or as a dry skin toner.

– Dry Shredded Coconut is a good exfoliant

– Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) skin toner & removes build up

Anita gave me so many tips, I haven’t tried them all yet.

Some surprised me — where I come from, coconut water is served straight from the nut, and we drink it because it’s soooooo refreshing (I LOVE a fresh, cold, coconut water, and drinkers in Trinidad love nothing better than a strong scotch and coconut water), and contains lots of electrolytes, so it’s often given to convalescents and people recovering from stomach or immunity issues. I’m not sure if I’d use it on my hair or skin for the sole reason that I prefer to guzzle it down as is!

Many of Anita’s recommendations are Caribbean staples, including Irish Moss, which we know and love as sea moss in Trinidad. I’ve only ever drank it as a thick and delicious healthy smoothie, but apparently it can also be used for my skin and hair! Awesome!

I personally have used brown sugar as an in-shower exfoliant for my skin and scalp. Mixed with a teaspoon of olive or hemp oil, it makes a delightful scrub. I got a big, fab bottle of hemp oil at my neighborhood Wild Oats for a mere $8– marked down from $14! For those of you concerned about the illicit implications, fret not — this oil contains no THC, and has a high level of essential Omega 3 oils (just ask Dr. Andrew Weil. I use it in cooking, and for sugar scrub purposes.

Apple cider vinegar makes a huge difference for afrobellas with hair build-up problems, and it’s one of the easiest at-home beauty recipes out there. Just add two teaspoons to 2 cups of water to rinse the buildup from your congested curls.

For loads more recipes, check out Motown Girl’s recipe page.

Do you have any favorite at-home beauty secrets? Do tell, bellas!

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Coffy says:
February 9, 2007, 4:00 pm
Bella some of my favorite hair products are being replaced by more affordable natural alternatives. i usually start with a base product like ORS carrot creme, or olive oil and add my own oils to the mix. here are a few oils i use castor oil,meadowfoam seed oil,jojoba, walnut oil, rosemary,wheat germ oil,sunflower oil,apricot kernel oil, avacado oil, and hemp oil. these products take care of moisture and shine and then all i have to add to my hair is something for definition.
Anita Grant says:
February 9, 2007, 4:57 pm
You say TOMATOES and I say TO-MAATT-TOES.. I'm going to blog about this later this month but last night I watched a great programme on BBC 2 called "The Truth about Food" where they discussed tomatoes here's the link: Here's a topical recipe for you..Another great skin toner and freshner.. Skin-Oh-So-Soft Wash face as normal Take 1 tomato Slice it into 5 Rub the slices onto your clean skin for about 1 minute Wipe off the excess tomato Leave the residue on your skin as the mild acidity of the tomato restores the pH balance of your skin, removes dead skin cells & unblocks your pores. Leaving your skin soft and radiant.
Sarah G. says:
February 9, 2007, 8:26 pm
Thanks for posting this, Bella! Anita, if you're reading, I've just placed my first order at your site and am anxiously awaiting its arrival! I love that you offer recipes in addition to selling your own products--it truly shows your decication to making women look and feel good... I have psoriasis and am wondering how to use the tumeric. Do I ingest it? Apply it topically? Thanks!
Nichelle says:
February 10, 2007, 1:04 am
Recipes are great - but I just can't do it. Too lazy? Maybe. Or maybe I'm still having nightmares over the oatmeal/honey mix I used to make for my skin. Sure, it worked fine, but please! It was too much work! I'll stick with buying the recipes from everyone else.:)
Dj says:
February 10, 2007, 1:33 am
I actually made a turmeric and orange juice mask. you can get the details on my blog at:
Dj says:
February 10, 2007, 1:35 am
I have done an egg mask, the yolk, but my sister just uses the white.
cassandra says:
February 11, 2007, 6:47 pm
Women on the CG routine have recommended adding honey or olive oil to the conditioner you use for the no poo wash. You don't need much -- and I like the honey abit better than the oil, but that is a quick way to do some mixtress work without working too hard....
Shameka says:
March 2, 2007, 10:10 pm
Black Soap as shampoo. WOnderful and leaves your hair VERY soft. I use avocados, olive oil, mayo and an egg mixed together as a deep conditioner, then I finish off with some african wild honey. Leaves my hair shiny, and curly.


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