Is it just me, or has the holiday season really snuck up on us this year? Virtually every person I know has been amazed (and a little dismayed) at the fact that it’s already less than two weeks until Christmas — I mean, isn’t that crazy?! If you’re like me, you’ve waited until the very last minute to book your flights and you haven’t quite checked everyone’s name off your gift list yet.
And that’s where this DIY comes in. We wanted to whip together something that looks beautiful, feels luxurious and can easily be assembled in no time, which makes it perfect for bringing along as a last-minute hostess gift or wrapping up in a hurry when your significant other tells you that his or her mother is coming to town for a surprise holiday visit. Thankfully, our lovely friend Rebecca over at Hillockburn Farm sent us over these skin-saving recipes.
What? What’s that you say? Oh, you’re way ahead of schedule and you had your shopping done months ago? Well, good for you. Why don’t you treat yourself to a coffee sugar scrub or a matcha and charcoal mask for being so darn ahead of the game (and then maybe you could come over and help me wrap? I’ll make cocktails!).
Coffee Sugar Scrub
This sugar-based scrub gently exfoliates dry winter skin without leaving any pesky, pore-clogging residue. The coffee, in addition to aiding in exfoliation, also has anti-inflammatory properties (perfect after one too many glasses of bubbly) and helps improve circulation. Avocado oil is rich in vitamin E and omega-3 fatty acids and offers thirsty skin plenty of softening moisture, while the honey is a natural antibacterial so it’s great for keeping those breakouts at bay. A final drop or two of orange essential oil adds some vitamin C to the mix, which has been shown to increase collagen production and fend off the signs of aging.
- mixing bowl
Start by pouring about two parts sugar and one part coffee to fill your glass canister. When you’re happy with the amount, dump your dry ingredients out into a big mixing bowl — this step ensures you don’t make too little or too much of this mixture.
Next, add in some avocado oil about a tablespoon at a time and mix well until you’ve reached the consistency of wet sand. This isn’t an exact science, so feel free to get in there with your fingers and find the right texture for you.
Add in a generous dollop of honey (a tablespoon or two should do it) and a couple of drops of the essential oil and mix, mix, mix.
Spoon the scrub into your canister and you’re all set!
Matcha and Charcoal Mask
This mask is made with a base of bentonite clay, which works for all skin types and helps remove toxins from the skin. A bit of activated charcoal also helps draw out any dirt, oils and bacteria that may have built up on the skin (especially great for city dwellers), while matcha acts as a gentle antioxidant that helps with inflammation. Finally, the tea tree oil adds a lovely scent and helps fight acne with its antimicrobial properties.
- mixing bowl
- bentonite clay
- matcha powder
- charcoal (you can buy the capsules and just pop them open to get the powder)
- tea tree essential oil
- small glass cannister
Fill up your glass canister almost all the way with your bentonite clay. Then, dump the clay into your mixing bowl.
Add a scoop each of match and charcoal — I used about eight charcoal tablets and a heaping teaspoon of matcha. Then stir it all together.
Add a few drops of the tea tree oil (I seriously love the smell of this stuff) and give the mask one more good mix.
Spoon it into your jar and store it dry until it’s ready to be used — the fact that it’s stored dry means it will last much longer, which is always a plus in my book.
When it’s time to make a mask with the mixture, simply take a scoop of it and mix with a little bit of water, honey, yogurt or apple cider vinegar until it’s reached the desired consistency.
Use a brush or back of spoon to apply to the mask to skin. Wait for 10-15 minutes, then gently massage the face with a small amount of water and wash the mask off.
Now all that’s left to do is dress up those glass canisters a bit so this really feels like a thoughtful gift (even if it’s totally last minute).
Start by selecting the letter stamps you’ll use for the label. I kept mine super simple, and just used the words “mask” and “scrub”.
Then, place a stamping plate on top of your tiny little square anvil (really any hard surface will do), insert your first letter into the jig (this will help you hold the stamp steady) and line it up.
Use the hammer to firmly hit the metal stamp. Only hit it once, otherwise you’ll end up with a messy impression. Repeat until the word is complete, paying special attention to how your letters are lining up.
Once that’s done, cut a length of ribbon that’s long enough to tie around the canister. Use a needle and thread to stitch the metal plate onto the ribbon.
Then, tie the pretty label onto the canister and slide in a pretty little spoon to make scooping these beauty treats a little bit easier. If you don’t have a stash of miniature spoons lying around like Joanna does (seriously, her stash of beautiful cutlery is to be admired), I’ve rounded up a few of my favorites below.
photography by Jojotastic.