Posted on

Benefits and Steps for an Easy DIY Pedicure

Benefits and steps for an easy DIY pedicure
Benefits and steps for an easy DIY pedicure
Treat your feet with an easy DIY pedicure!

Our feet have it pretty rough. They drew the short straw and are tasked with balancing and carrying our entire body weight. Treating your feet to an easy DIY pedicure is a fun and easy way to feel like a new woman, plus your feet will feel and look great.

4 Benefits of a DIY Pedicure

  • Enjoy healthier skin ~ you’ll help soften and reduce callouses and other visible skin, issues such as dryness and inflammation. You’ll also clean and exfoliate your skin, giving you that nice clean and smooth feeling.
  • Improves blood flow ~ giving your feet and lower legs a massage (whip that partner into action!) will help your lymph nodes remove and process toxins.
  • Your feet will look great ~ well groomed feet and nails is a sign of wellness. A lack of foot care and general hygiene can promote the growth of fungi and unsightly skin issues.
  • It’s relaxing ~ treating your feet to a DIY pedicure is a perfect way to relax the muscles and joints in your feet. This is especially noticeable if you’re a frequent sufferer of sore feet at the end of a working day.

8 Steps to an Easy DIY Pedicure

  1. Start with a clean slate ~ (optional) use your normal technique to remove any nail polish. Recommended if you’ve got a lot of regrowth or otherwise flaky/chipped polish.
  2. Soak your feet ~ fill a suitably sized container with comfortably hot water. There should be enough water to soak both feet up to your ankles. Add a heaped tablespoon of our special 100% natural foot scrub blend and mix into water. Place feet into water and soak. The longer the better :)
  3. Cuticle check ~ while your feet are soaking it’s the perfect time to do a quick cuticle scan. Make sure they’re looking good and push any misbehaving cuticles into a nice and round shape as required.
  4. Scrub your feet ~ take out each foot, one at a time, and apply some minty foot scrub. You only need a teaspoon or so for each foot. Rub all over both the underside and top of your feet. Pay special attention to especially rough areas such as your heels or any calloused areas. Rub some between your toes too!
  5. Soak and rub ~ give  your feet another quick soak and rub them all over. At this stage they’ll feel super soft and smooth. Feel free to add more hot water if necessary, especially if you’re really taking your time.
  6. Towel dry ~ use a soft and clean towel and pat your feet dry. Don’t vigorously rub your feet with a towel as this may irritate your freshly exfoliated skin. Make sure you dry in between your toes.
  7. Apply foot balm ~ for the final and ultimate touch in your DIY pedicure apply some 100% natural minty foot balm. This will create a nourishing barrier and your fresh skin will absolutely love it. It smells great and will leave your feet feeling fresh, tingly and warm. This is also the perfect time for a foot massage if you can convince the other half to deliver.
  8. Put your socks on ~ finally, put on a pair of clean cotton socks. Cotton is breathable and will lock the foot balm in, preventing it from rubbing onto other surfaces such as the carpet/floor, or if you’re truly blessed – the couch/bed.

There you have it! Giving yourself a DIY pedicure at home is super easy. All you need is some basic feet care products and some time to dedicate to yourself.

100% Natural Products for Your Feet

Minty Foot Balm and Minty Foot Scrub
Treat your feet with 100% natural NZ made products.

Our minty foot care products are perfect for giving yourself the perfect DIY pedicure. Our minty foot scrub and matching foot balm are 100% natural and made right here in New Zealand. We use a specific blend of natural ingredients, including essential oils selected for their anti-fungal and anti-septic properties. Using these products will make your feet smell, feel and look amazing!

Find out more about our Minty Foot Scrub or matching Minty Foot Balm.

Posted on

Reed Diffuser Tips and Tricks

Reed Diffuser Tips and Tricks
Reed Diffuser Tips and Tricks
A Reed Diffuser makes your palace smell amazing and delivers a strong visual statement.

Reed Diffusers have become very popular and trendy over the last few years. A Reed Diffuser is a great way to add an interesting visual element to your home or office, and obviously they smell great too. It’s a win-win!

Reed Diffusers come in many shapes and forms. Some are totally awesome, while others (usually the cheaper ones) aren’t so great. The general idea behind them is always the same. They work via diffusion. What does this actually mean? In a nutshell, this basically means that it works via evaporation. The reed sticks soak up the fragranced oil, which is then released (evaporated) into the air giving off their amazing smells. As the reed sticks dry from the top they’re able to soak up more oil, continuing the cycle.

So, what’s the best way to get the most use and enjoyment out of your diffuser? Glad you asked!

Reed Diffuser Tips and Tricks

  • Room size ~ generally bigger rooms call for a bigger (or multiple) diffusers, though of course this is a matter of personal preference.
  • Position ~ you have a few options depending on your desire. If you want to greet visitors with a pleasant smell as they walk into your home or office, place your diffuser close to the entrance. If you’d rather have a subtle wafting fragrance throughout a particular room or area, place your diffuser somewhere with good airflow. Also keep in mind that being placed near a very drafty area (such as next to an open window) will cause your diffuser to evaporate faster and therefore it won’t last as long as it could.
  • Flip your reed sticks ~ over time your reed sticks will pick up dust. Therefore we recommend you flip your reed sticks every so often to get a fresh burst of fragrance. About once ever 3 – 6 days is fine in most cases, but you can do this as little or often as you want. It’s personal preference really. You can also flip your reed sticks just prior to guests arriving to greet them with a fresh burst of fragrance. If you’re going away for a few days flip your sticks as you leave, you’ll return home to a nice smell rather than a stuffy house smell.
  • Clean before refilling ~ if you’ve come to the end of your diffuser or you just want to try a new fragrance, then you can purchase a Reed Diffuser Refill Kit. You’ll receive a new (clean) set of reed sticks, plus some fresh fragranced oil to use. It’s important to clean your original diffuser jar out thoroughly using hot water, and let it dry completly before refilling. Your old reed sticks will be dusty and clogged, replace your old reed sticks with fresh ones provided.
  • Protect your surface ~ (optional) you’re dealing with oils here. Oil can mark or stain surfaces pretty easily. If you’re concerned about this then place your diffuser on a decorative plate or a coaster. This also gives another way to make your diffuser an amazing visual piece.

Amazing Reed Diffusers by Little Olive Tree

Reed Diffuser Tips and Tricks
Enjoy a NZ made Reed Diffuser!

One of our Reed Diffusers will deliver amazing fragrances for your office or home for up to 6 months. This is terrific value for money, and you’ll be enjoying a great NZ product! These are presented in a stylish 120ml glass jar and come with 8 reed sticks ready to go.

We offer these in 11 yummy fragrances, check them out here and buy online.

 

 

 

Posted on

Winter Skin Essentials

Winter Skin Essentials
Winter Skin Essentials
A change in season can also be a good time to change your product.

Do you ever feel like winter gets the better of you? We look forward to a break from the summer heat, but once the cold sets in it can be a real shock to the system! Don’t let winter get to you, here are some winter skin essentials to help you embrace the cold and enjoy the winter chill.

  1. Sunscreen ~ first things first, make sure to protect your skin skin from the sun! It may seem trivial but take it from me, looking after your skin and protecting it from the sun is something you should always take into consideration. If you’re planning on spending some extended time outdoors, slap on some sunscreen!
  2. Pick good product ~ be mindful of the product that you’re using. Generally, choosing a natural product is much better for your skin in the long run. Big brand expensive products aren’t necessarily any better than naturally produced and simpler product. The most important thing is how your skin responds to the product and how good it makes your feel, not how expensive it is.
  3. Moisturise more ~ you’ve probably got a preferred product that you’ve been using over the spring and summer. That’s great, but keep in mind that the air becomes colder and drier during winter. You might have to increase how frequently you moisturise to keep your skin from suffering from dryness. As the changes in season occur, you might want to consider changing your favourite products to reflect this. We recommend looking for an oil-rich product in order to really lock in moisture and help combat the dry air.

The Perfect Winter Companion

Whipped Shea Body Butter
A 100% natural and oil-rich blend is perfect for winter…

One of our Whipped Shea Body Butters will deliver the exact sort of nourishment that your skin needs during winter time. We recommend an oil-rich product such as this because oils tend to lock in moisture for a lot longer compared to lotions (which are usually water-based). This is perfect when the air is so cold and dry!

We offer these in 5 amazing fragrances, plus an unscented variant which is perfect if you have sensitive skin or if you don’t want any fragrances interfering with your perfume.

Enjoy this 100% natural product! Here are the ingredients we use to make this: Shea Butter, Coconut Oil, Almond Oil, Beeswax, Rosehip Oil, Vitamin E Oil & Essential Oils (excluding the unscented body butter).

Posted on

Microbeads Might Be Banned in New Zealand

Microbeads
Microbeads
NZ is putting pressure on Microbead products.

It’s official, New Zealand is on the bandwagon to ban the sale of personal care products that contain plastic microbeads. A recent news article explains that Nick Smith (the NZ environment minister) and the National government has announced a proposal outlawing the sale of microbead products. Microbead products have already been banned in the US and Canada, while the UK is considering clamping down too. Overall this is great news for New Zealand and the environment as a whole!

The risk of microbeads relates to the damage they do once washed down the drain. Thousands of tiny beads of plastic are ending up in waterways and the ocean, ultimately harming plant and animal life. Fish and other creatures eat the plastic mistaking it for food. Certain shellfish are also at risk, as many species filter-feed indiscriminately and they can’t avoid microbeads. Not to mention that these plastic beads take decades to break down. All of this is causing significant damage to the environment and wildlife, and we’re all effected by in one way or another. It’s no wonder that microbeads have steadily attracted so much negative attention over the last few years.

Without such a ban, New Zealand risks becoming a dumping ground for large conglomerates who aren’t able to sell their microbead products in other larger markets. I for one am grateful that we’re taking action and upholding our responsibility to the earth!

Try our Coffee Body Scrub – 100% Microbead Free

Microbead Free Body Scrub
Our Coffee Body Scrubs are 100% natural and microbead-free!

We’ve offered our Coffee Body Scrubs for a long time now and they’ve proven super popular, remaining one of our top sellers. The best thing about these, apart from being 100% natural, they are completely microbead-free! We’ve formulated these to be the perfect combination of ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ granules using coffee, salt and sugar. This means that the product is completely biodegradable and doesn’t have any lasting negative issues that traditional mass produced body scrubs have.

Click here to check them out and buy online, there are 3 great scents to choose from!

 

Posted on

All About Essential Oils

Aromatherapy

There is a lot of misunderstanding about what essentials oils are. I often hear people assume that essential oils and fragrance oils are the same thing. Within the handcrafting circle I often see well meaning but misguided people using essential oils in products that simply shouldn’t contain them. In this article I discuss the basics of what essential oils are and provide some historical context.

What Are Essential Oils?

Essential Oils
Aromatherapy is the use of plant extracts and essential oils for healing and cosmetic purposes.

Every plant produces oils which they use as part of their natural metabolism and normal functioning. Essential oils are the natural oils that are derived from a plant through the process of extraction methods. Extraction methods vary, but overall they focus on separating the oil from the other plant matter. The oil obtained shares the same chemical and aromatic properties of the plant it was derived from. The oils are considered an ‘essence’ of the plant, hence the name ‘essential oils’.

Ancient civilizations and cultures developed very effective remedies and plant-based medicines which were appropriate for their time. Today this knowledge lives on within the realm of essential oils. Essential oils are simply an extension of ‘traditional’ medicines such as ancient herbal and plant medicine. In our modern times the therapeutic use of essential oils is known as ‘aromatherapy’, and there is strong scientific evidence that essential oils are effective in treating & relieving a wide range of health issues.

The History of Aromatherapy

Aromatherapy has a long and rich history spanning thousands of years. While the term ‘aromatherapy’ is a relatively modern term, the actual use of herb and plant-based medicine has been observed by literally every major civilization in recorded history. There is even evidence to suggest that plant-based medicine was used as long ago as 18,000 BC, essentially a period pre-dating the rise of any and all civilizations. There is a lot of evidence that the world’s most proliferate civilizations looked to herb and plant-based medicine for thousands of years. The medicinal and psychological effects of plants would have been noted following ingestion or inhaling smoke produced while burning. This knowledge would have been passed down through the generations as ‘tribal wisdom’ and considered essential for survival.

Essential Oils
Essential oils have a long and rich history, originally knowledge would have been passed down as ‘tribal wisdom’.

China and India, both among the oldest and most powerful of ancient civilizations, have produced some of the oldest surviving medical (plant-based) texts in history. Egypt, a very successful and powerful civilization, had an impressive grasp of herbal medicine. Egypt produced many texts on the subject and it’s even believed that they discovered an early method of distilling oils from plant matter. Major European civilizations such as the Greeks and Romans also discovered the positive properties of herbs and plants for medical purposes. Between European and Egyptian culture, the knowledge of herbal medicine spread to the Arabian cultures of the time. In America too, Native American Indians and the Aztec empires both had their own beliefs and uses for plant-based medicine.

It’s no surprise then that every major civilization developed its own sense of spirituality, culture and medicine linked directly to their own understandings of plant and herb-based wisdom. They all incorporated incense and plant offerings into their medical rituals, but also into their spiritual rituals and offerings to their gods. The entire underpinnings of their cultures and beliefs were based on their knowledge and understanding of plant-lore, it’s quite amazing when you think about it.

The use of plant oils begins with the Egyptians. They are well-known for their love of perfume and anointing ointments. There is evidence to suggest that the ancient Egyptians discovered a way to extract essential oils from plant matter.  Their early techniques of obtaining essential oils were based on an infusion method, wherein plant matter is heated with a carrier oil which in turn absorbs the oils contained in the plant. However, we know that by around the 3rd century BC they demonstrated primitive distillation methods too.

Fast-forward to the renaissance period (about 1300 – 1600 AD) and the study of essential oils has caught the attention of objective mainstream science. While essential oils were of particular interest to a number of prominent thinkers of the time, there was one man in particular who made a massive contribution to essential oils as we know them today. Abu Alo al-Husayn, more commonly known as Avicenna, was a highly regarded Arab physician and considered one of the leading thinkers of his time. He was a learned man who studied many fields, including medicine, philosophy and the natural sciences. He produced many publications, many which remained as mainstream texts in universities long after his death. He is credited with inventing, or at the very least perfecting the distillation extraction process as we know it in the modern age (ie, he figured out how to effectively remove oils from plant matter using specialized equipment).

Modern Times & Aromatherapy

Improvements in the field of chemistry in the 18th and 19th century eventually began moving science away from studying plant-based chemicals in an attempt to discover synthetic chemicals and to refine the production of such chemicals. It quickly became apparent how easy and cheap it was to mass-produce synthetic chemicals for medicinal uses compared to the relatively inefficient process of extracting essential oils. Therefore society began leaning more on synthetic chemicals for medicine, and forgoing plant-based medicine of the past.

However, the role of essential oils and plant-based medicine still remained of interest to a number of scientists. One such scientist was Rene Maurice Gattefosse, a French chemist who worked for his families perfume company. At some stage in the 1920s he was introduced to some of the literature surrounding essential oils by a colleague. This sparked an interest and he went on to discover that many of the essential oils used by his company (which at that time had only been used for perfume) were actually better antiseptics than synthetic drugs of the time. He eventually concluded that essential oils should be given more weight in the modern medical world. He went on to coin the term ‘aromatherapie’ in a scientific paper (and later in a book) he published. For this reason Gattefosse is considered one of the founding fathers of aromatherapy as we know it today.

This pioneering work was carried on by other prominent scientist, and by the mid-1900s ‘aromatherapy’ had become a legitimate and accepted practice. Today individuals around the world are using aromatherapy techniques to to bring mindfulness, health and happiness to people from all walks of life.

We Use Essential Oils In…

Posted on

Epsom Salt

Epsom Salt
Epsom salt isn’t actually salt – it’s a pure mineral consisting of magnesium and sulfate.

Despite its name, epsom salt isn’t actually a salt in the normal sense. Instead, it’s a naturally occurring mineral named after a small English town where it first became known. It’s pure magnesium and sulfate and it has a long history of being a natural remedy for all sorts of issues. Even today it’s still commonly used in a wide range of  applications, from health & beauty needs, through to garden growth and support.

Benefits of Epsom Salt

  • It’s a great detox: by dissolving epsom salt into your bath water, you’re promoting the removal of toxins from your body.
  • It eases stress and relaxes your body: magnesium is consumed by your body during normal functioning. This is especially true when you’re stressed. By soaking in an epsom salt bath you’re replenishing magnesium in your body which results in better serotonin production.
  • It relieves pain and muscle cramps: soaking in an epsom salt bath will ease inflammation and pain across your body.
  • It promotes muscle and nerve function: an epsom salt bath helps your body regulate electrolytes, plus epsom salt (magnesium) is essential for creating calcium, which your body needs for efficient nerve conduction.

We Use It In…

Posted on

Sugar

Sugar
Sugar
Sugar has a rich history and is commonly used in many products across the board.

Society has used sugar for a long time. It’s plentiful and cheap now, but it used to be expensive and was a rare commodity. Because of this honey was commonly used as a sweetener before sugar became easy to access. The sugarcane was native to parts of Asia and modern day India. The sugarcane was mostly overlooked until methods originating in India discovered a way to extract sugar cubes which were easy to store and transport. From India, sugar was traded around the world as ‘khanda’ which is origin of the word ‘candy’.

Benefits of Sugar

  • It encourages cell turnover: sugar is a natural source of glycolic acid, which penetrate and breaks down old & weak bonds between cells leading to new cell growth.
  • It’s a great exfoliate: sugar granules help scrub away dead skin and other blemishes. Compared to salt, it’s not as rough around the edges meaning it’s not as harsh on your skin.

We Use It In…

Posted on

Himalayan Salt

Himalayan Salt
Himalayan Salt
Himalayan salt mined from the Himalayan mountain region brushing Pakistan.

Himalayan salt is rock salt which is mined from the Himalayan mountain region brushing Pakistan. It’s common for the salt crystals appearing in a reddish or pink colour, while some also having an off-white transparent colour. The reason for this alluring colour range is due to the high mineral count present. It’s commonly used in cooking and for certain bath products, such as bath salts. Humans have an interesting relationship with salt – historically it’s been extremely valuable, often been traded for it’s weight in gold. This has given rise to the sayings ‘worth its salt’ and ‘salt of the earth’.

Benefits of Himalayan Salt

  • It has a high mineral count: a mineral-rich composure provides a broad range of benefits, ranging from cooking-related benefits to better quality skin & body products.
  • It makes a great exfoliate: salt is relatively abrasive due to its sharp edges. This makes it a perfect exfoliate when used in many body and skin products.

We Use It In…

Posted on

Coffee

Coffee
Coffee
Coffee has a rich history with many cultures across the world.

We all know and love it as a drink. Coffee has a rich history with many cultures across the world dating back to as far as the 10th century. It also has a dark part of history too; after becoming widely commercially valuable slavery was used as a means to mass-produce crops during appox. 1500s – late 1800s. Today coffee is the beloved drink of the people all over the world.  Lately it has become quite the craze as a main ingredient within scrubs too. It turns out that there are good reasons for this that go beyond our basic love affair with it as a pick-me-up.

Benefits of Coffee

  • Aromatherapy properties: it can help gain a clear mind and reduce headaches.
  • It’s a natural antioxidant: which aids in reducing free radicals and reducing imperfections of the skin. This is why coffee claims usefulness for dealing with issues such as cellulite.
  • It’s a great exfoliate: the granules of coffee help scrub away dead skin and other blemishes.

We Use It In…

Posted on

What Does It Mean to Be Green?

Green beauty & natural skin care

Lately I’ve been doing a lot of reading on the “green beauty movement”. It’s a fairly new movement (as in the last 20 years or so), at least for the cosmetic industry. Though, the truth is that green beauty has been with us for thousands of years! Green beauty has its roots buried deep within the wisdom of herbal lore spanning centuries across many cultures, and it’s only recently becoming embraced at the industrial level thanks to modern day plant science.

Bringing Us Closer to Nature

Green beauty & natural skin care
Natural skin care puts us back in touch with nature…

For me personally it seems obvious that there is something special about green beauty. I believe that using plant-based materials is not only better for our skin, but it puts us back in touch with nature. It is a connection with our earth. Plant-based products heal our skin as we move through our days. It’s with us in the sun, rain, wind and snow. It supports our skin as we play, laugh and cry. It gives me the feeling that we’re part of a special and delicate system, and it helps feed our spirit. When we use plants for beautification we’re re-synchronizing ourselves with our earth.

Thousands of years ago our ancestors were using plants for beautification. There was no need to call it organic skin care. It simply was, by it’s very nature, organic – there wasn’t any other option. Using pure & natural plant-based products is how we make a return to the old ways of health and beauty, when things were natural and organic by their very nature.

Have you tried our 100% natural Body Butter? It’s the perfect example of plant-based goodness, it will make your skin feel amazing, and it’s hand crafted with love care & pride!