Wednesday, May 28, 2014

DIY Disinfecting All Purpose Spray

Slowly but surely, I have been trying to replace my household cleaners and skin care products with all natural solutions. Of all of the things I use, this ALL PURPOSE SPRAY is by far my favorite; it smells great and it will clean even the toughest greasiest stove-top. The addition of essential oils makes this spray antimicrobial, meaning it not only kills bacteria, but it is also an antifungal, antiparasitic, and antiviral all in one! 

DIY All Purpose Disinfecting Spray // The Twisted Horn

I use lemon and orange essential oil with eucalyptus castile soap, but feel free to pick any combination of the oils listed:

LEMON | antiviral, antifungal, antispetic, and antidepressant

ORANGE | antiseptic, antifungal, antibacterial, great degreaser

EUCALYPTUS | analgesic, antibacterial, anti-infectious, antiviral, and expectorant

LAVENDER | antiseptic, antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal

TEA TREE | antifungal, antiseptic, antibacterial, insecticidal 


DIY All Purpose Disinfecting Spray // The Twisted Horn


If you are skeptical about the oils check out these studies:

Tea Tree Oil: Scientific studies have been done showing its antibacterial actions and its promise in inhibiting certain flu viruses, combating staph infections, and even treating the herpes simplex virus.

Orange Oil:  A 2011 study showed that Valencia orange essential oil inhibited E. Coli and Salmonella during the refrigeration process of beef.




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Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Steal Her Style: Ashley Madekwe

Actress and blogger, Ashley Madekwe, has quickly moved up the ranks as one of my go-to fashion icons. Her street style is to die for and, lucky for us, it's all documented on her blog RING MY BELL. One of my favorite things about Ashley's style is that it's totally attainable. Her go-to stores, such as ASOS, Zara, and Topshop, are priced well within reach of even the savviest budget fashionista. Keep reading for details on how to steal her style! (Details on all of the outfits below can be found on her blog.)

Steal Her Style: Ashley Madekwe

Steal Her Style: Ashley Madekwe

Steal Her Style: Ashley Madekwe

Steal Her Style: Ashley Madekwe

Steal Her Style: Ashley Madekwe

Steal Her Style: Ashley Madekwe



Steal Her Style: Ashley Madekwe via The Twisted Horn

|1| Ashley is the queen of coordinates. If you're trying to snag her style, you definitely need a set. I love this palm tree print set from ASOS and could totally picture Ashley wearing it with white pointed-toe pumps or black strappy heeled sandals. TOP // SKIRT

|2| No look of Ashley's is complete without a bright red lip. She usually keeps the rest of her face clean and classic. MAC RUSSIAN RED

|3| A striped tee is a must have closet staple for anyone. Ashley can be seen sporting striped tees with boyfriend jeans or dressing it up with a skirt. TOPSHOP STRIPE RAGLAN

|4| Ashley loves to pair vintage tees with bold statement necklaces. So much so, that she designed her own line of accessories for Baublebar. This necklace is currently on my wishlist. SPIKED LILY NECKLACE

|5| A strappy heeled sandal is a must. Ashley has them in all different colors and pairs them with just about everything. However, her go-to pair is a pair of black YSL heels. Luckily, there are tons of affordable knock-offs. STEVE MADDEN REALOVE // MISGUIDED CLARA

|6| Boyfriend jeans are another must-have staple. You can see how she dressed them up in the first picture with a polka-dot blazer or dressed them down with a striped tee. LEVI BOYFRIEND SKINNY

|7| Just when we thought chambray was over done, Ashley steps out wearing an amazing sequin skirt paired with a chambray top. Genius. If you don't already own one, go get one immediately! CHAMBRAY SHIRT



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Wednesday, May 14, 2014

CURRENT OBSESSION: Brass & Gold Fixtures

I absolutely love anything gold. Pretty much every object in my house that can be spray painted has been turned gold. So it's no surprise that I am really loving the brass/gold fixture trend going on right now. It looks so classy against white marble and modern when paired with grays and blacks.

Brass Fixtures | The Twisted Horn



Brass Fixtures | The Twisted Horn



Brass Fixtures | The Twisted Horn



Gold Fixtures | The Twisted Horn



Gold Fixtures | The Twisted Horn



Brass Fixtures | The Twisted Horn



Brass Fixtures | The Twisted Horn



Brass Fixtures | The Twisted Horn


As much as I love it, I can't decide if this is just an of-the-moment trend or if the look is here to stay. I definitely don't want to put a date stamp on my home by adding these fixtures. The other issue I foresee is matching everything up to the gold/brass. Does this mean no stainless steel appliances? What about light fixtures? I have seen many kitchens with brass fixtures still using stainless steel, but I think that would bother the OCD voice in my head. If you too are OCD about matching and have endless amounts of money then you could probably splurge on one of these amazing refrigerators to match!

Black & Brass Refrigerators | The Twisted Horn
Left two are vintage, far right is SMEG.



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Friday, May 2, 2014

All Natural Acne Solutions


All Natural Acne Solutions | The Twisted Horn
                       
ACNE. Even just the mention of the word sends shivers down my spine. Whoever said this was a teenage problem lied. I never thought I would be in my late twenties trying to figure out how to treat and conceal pimples. I have tried numerous solutions (prescription creams, prescription pills, Proactive, Murad, and so many others) - some that worked and some that didn't. You might be thinking to yourself, "if she found something that worked why didn't she just stop there?" Well it's because I realized that all of these things were band-aid solutions and not addressing the real problem. It also really freaked me out to be slathering these mystery concoctions all over my face and body, day and night. So I was determined to find some natural alternatives.
                                   
If you're interested in more info on why you are getting acne in the first place, THIS article by Acne Einstein offers a great explanation. The next step is controlling the breakouts.

Simplify your routine and replace all of those chemical laden products with natural ones. Here are some of my favorite options! Give it AT LEAST two weeks of consistent use. You will most likely have a purging stage in the beginning, but then it will all get better!

All Natural Acne Solutions | The Twisted Horn


Step 1: Cleanse

  • I LOVE Dr. Bronner's Lavender Castile Soap. It's not called magic soap for nothing people! Don't believe that this is a viable acne solution? Then check out all of the amazing reviews HERE!
or
  • Organic Honey. I know this one sounds weird, but honey has all kinds of amazingly beneficial properties. Mix a little bit of honey with water and then slather it on. Wash off with warm water and a wash cloth.
or
  • Organic Grapeseed Oil. Slather all over dry skin. Remove with a wet wash cloth and warm water. Please note that all oil is not created equal! Some oils may actually worsen acne. Keep reading for more info on selecting the best one for your skin.

Step 2: Tone

  • Rose Witch Hazel. This stuff is amazing and it smells great too. Balancing your skin after cleansing is a must! Do not skip toner. 
or
  • Bragg's Apple Cider Vinegar. ACV cures everything. Drink it, use it, bathe in it.

Step 3: Moisturize

  • Organic Grapeseed Oil
or
  • Organic Evening Primrose Oil
or
  • Organic Rosehip Oil
or
  • Splurge on a premade mix HERE
As I mentioned before, not all oils are created equal. In a perfect world, we would have a balance of oleic and linoleic acid in our naturally produced face oils. However, people with acne tend to have an over abundance of oleic acid, which clogs pores and creates pimples. So naturally, we would want to pick a moisturizing oil that is high in linoleic acid and low in oleic acid to balance everything out. All of the ones mentioned above are great choices. Some not so great choices: almond, avocado, olive oil.  THIS blog post has tons of info and more options on picking the right oil.

Exfoliate
                                   All Natural Acne Solutions | The Twisted Horn
The worst thing you can do is over-exfoliate. This will only encourage your skin to produce more oil (it's also just unnecessary), but exfoliating a few times a week will leave your skin glowing and encourage cell turnover. My favorite method of exfoliation is the Clarisonic.  It didn't become famous for nothing. It works and it is worth every penny. If you think it's too expensive, just think about the hundreds (maybe even thousands) of dollars you have spent on drugstore and spa treatments. I use it 2-3x per week with the Dr. Bronner's Soap. Twice a day is way too much. Please do not do that.  If you need a more budget friendly option, mixing ground oats with honey is a great natural exfoliant.

Mask/Treat

                          All Natural Acne Solutions | The Twisted Horn

  • I use THIS homemade version of the GlamGlow mask about 1-2 times per week. Love it! It also works great as a spot treatment overnight. 
and
  • Burt's Bees Herbal Blemish Stick. This is a combination of alcohol (dries out the pimple) and essential oils to help reduce the appearance of those stubborn spots and kill the bacteria. The smell is strong, but once it dries you can no longer smell it. This is a great day or night option. 

Whew! That was long. Kuddos to you if you are still reading. I would love to know if you have found any natural solutions to treating acne. What are your secrets?


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