Au Naturale Eye Essentials Kit

{a show of hands}

Let's give ourselves a fall manicure today!
Set aside some time and treat yourself to a bit of well-deserved pampering.

Here we go:

Step 1: Remove old polish and wash hands.

A safer nail polish remover from Piggy Paint

Step 2: Shape and buff the nails.

I really like the glass nail files sold at Barefoot Bling. Her glass files work so well and are gentle on the nails, too! Choose from several designs. They're $9 each and will last your forever.
For buffing, I always get a yellow box style buffer at Sally.

Step 3: Exfoliate

For smooth and soft hands, I recommend using a scrub. Making your own is easy peasy. Here is a recipe of mine I have shared with you before. It's a lovely salt scrub. Use this on your hands and feet and night. It makes for a soothing, pampering treatment.

Click HERE for that recipe.

Not a do it yourselfer? No worries. Get yourself  a Whipped Sugar Body Scrub from Mad City Soaps. Her creamy, rich scrubs are ultra moisturizing and sell for $10 for a generous 8 ounce jar.

Step 4: Rinse, cleanse & dry hands.

I told you a few months back about my favorite hand cleansers and have to mention them to you again. We all know traditional anti-bac hand soaps (think the nasty ones from Bath & Body Works) are horrible for your skin and contain toxic triclosan. Clean Well  hand soaps are all-natural and contain gentle and natural surfactants and essential oils. Get those hands clean--without harming and drying out your skin with this one. 

Are you a do it your self maven? Try this recipe for a simple, natural hand cleanser which I posted here a long time ago. Click HERE for that recipe.

Step 5: Apply a good hand cream.

I also would like to tell you about a fabulous hand cream I have been using over the past few weeks. I love hand cream. I use it religiously. My hands get really dry this time of year and I am frequently washing my hands. When I paint or use my jewelry epoxy, my hands also get a little bit beaten up so I have to scrub. 

Ingredients-wise, the best hand cream I have found had been the Burt's Bees Almond Milk Hand Creme. I find, though, that it works best at night for me as it is super thick and concentrated. My hands stay a bit greasy. For me, it is perfect for night. During the day, though, I like to carry a tube with me and apply it as needed. When I couldn't get past the horrible smell of the Burt's Bees hand cream sold in a tube, I was wondering if I'd ever find a tube formulation with stellar ingredients.

I really haven't had a good tube of hand cream because of the ingredients in most of them. My three favorites all have had ingredients I haven't been too happy with, though I loved how they made my hands feel. For me, my favorites were Crabtree & Evelyn Gardeners Therapy Hand Cream, Camille Beckman French Vanilla Glycerine Hand Therapy, and Perlier White Almond Hand Cream.

Unfortunately, all three contain a good portion of potentially harmful ingredients.  What I am using--and loving--now is Seed Grape Seed Enriched Healthy Hand Cream. This is an all-natural formulation is gently preserved with  Gluconolactone and sodium benzoate (this two-ingredient system is derived from corn). It truly is the best hand cream EVER!

It is everything that I have been looking for in a hand cream. It is light, yet ultra rich at the same time. Fortified with shea butter, jojoba oil, glycerin, aloe, and other nutrients, this just softens my hands without leaving a greasy residue behind. This is also free of silicone, yet still keeps that beautifully soft, supple feeling in the hands all day long.

I have had one tester using the Citrus Thyme formula. I have been using the Simply Fragrance Free. Both work well and gets raves from us. However, I prefer the fragrance free. I love how there literally is no scent to this so I can apply it liberally without it competing with my fragrances.

The hand lotions sell for $7.99 each and can be found at Seed Online, and often on Amazon and in select Whole Foods locations.

Step 6: Lay down the foundation
A good base coat will help your manicure last longer. One to try--Seche Vite. You can find it at Sally for $7.99.
Step 7: Add some color!

Fall Shades We Adore:

Step 8: Finish with a top coat. My favorite:

From Essie, $8