Tag Archives: Do it yourself

DIY Vigilius Spa Apple & Polenta Body Scrub

24 Feb

We all know an apple a day can keep the doctor away, but it can also keep the wrinkles away!  With it’s acidic properties and thick, fibrous texture, apples make an exfoliating scrub to retexturize the body.  Honey is added to give flexibility to the scrub & polenta as an extra exfoliant.  Here’s our DIY version:

Combine in a bowl

1 Cup Applesauce

1/2 Cup Dry Polenta

3 Tablespoons honey

In the shower: rub onto body (this is a body only scrub) in circular motions, focusing on knees and elbows.  (Place a piece of cheesecloth over drain to stop clogging)  Rinse!  Finish w/your fave lotion.

You can also soak your fingers in it as a pre-manicure softener.

Live, Love and Lounge, Candy


Sherina Jamal of Beauty Through Balance

17 Jan

Sherina Jamal

Sherina Jamal, Founder and CEO of Beauty Through Balance, was kind enough to share her secrets for creating a relaxing and beautiful home. . . plus a few beauty and rejuvenation tips. Since her company, Ancient Secrets, supplies spas worldwide with high quality, natural products and & is instrumental in creating spa treatments. . . who else better to learn how to live the spa way.

1.      How did you start your business?  Was it a childhood goal or happy accident?

My culture being East Indian was rich in the use of herbs for healing and I have used this as a key influence in the formulations that I have created.  I watched my mother using home remedies on her skin based on Indian beauty rituals.  My passion was for natural products and do it yourself remedies to use as alternatives. From there I became interested in formulation development with a focus on natural holistic ingredients..

2.  Do you go to the spa ?  Have you been on a spa vacation?  Memorable spas, places or treatments?  Your dream spa vacation?

I recently went to Africa for a family holiday and was able to experience a treatment in a beautiful spa in Zanzibar.  But my most memorable spa experience was the VIP spa room at Spa Utopia (located in the Pan Pacific hotel in Vancouver BC) as a treat for my husband and I the day after our wedding.

My dream spa vacation would be in South India. I strongly believe in the healing benefits of Ayurvedia and would love to stay at an authentic Ayurvedic healing spa in India.

Beauty Through Balance's Signature Series

3.      How do you relax at home? Any DIY beauty/spa treatments you indulge in?  Favorite Products?  Best place in your house to escape?

After a long day at work I love cooking & whipping up something very healthy and creative to unwind.  I also try to sit quietly and take in the view with a cup of herbal tea before opening up the computer again
I use our Beauty Through Balance line at home daily but also like to make my own facial scrub using oatmeal, yogurt, pineapple and honey. I place all of this in my bullet.  For daily skin care, I use our Lavender Olive Rich Foaming Bath/Cleanser as a facial cleanser, and our Acai Power Repair moisturizer as my daily facial moisturizer.

Twice a week I use either our Seaweed Mask or Hyrda Skin Renewal Gel and daily I use our Glacial Revitalizing Mist.  For the body I think dry brushing is a must and I do that daily to keep the skin smooth and stimulate circulation.

The best place in my house to escape is either my kitchen when I’m cooking or in my living room taking in the view of the water. I also like to do some reading in bed before going to sleep. This helps me detach from work.  I have been using my Ipad to catch up on reading my Oprah newsletters.

4.  What are your weekly/monthly regimens or simple daily rituals do you do to unwind/rejuvenate? Describe?

To unwind, I hit the gym at least 3 times per week and do a long walk at least twice a week.  Spending time with family and quality time with the hubby also helps me to feel more balanced and relaxed.  At least once per month I try to go to our community church(mosque) as a believe strongly in the benefits of spirituality in enhancing one’s life and keeping life in a good balance.


Note how the artwork & table setting play off of each other in Sherina's dining room. Inspired use of fruit in the clear vase.

5.  Have your business or products inspired your home decor? How so? If not, what inspires your interior?  Did you decorate or hire a designer?

Our line is based on indigenous ingredients from around the world and also embraces what is truly “spa”.  My décor elements include Moroccan lamps, Indian pillows & other ethnic touches. The spa element is represented with natural colors like sand & creams. Contemporary furniture reflects our clean and modern packaging. Also, We are planning on bringing in a water feature. You’ll also find touches like natural aromatherapy candles and ocean elements like sea shells and sand.

The furnishings clean lines & symmetrical configuration invite you to relax and take in the view. *Note Sherina is still shopping for art for this space, like all our homes, hers is a work in progress.

6.  What tops your home wish list?  Furniture, Renovations?  Do you have any secret resources for furniture/home accessories?

Due to our busy schedules we have not yet completed the final touches on our condo. My wish list includes finding the right artwork for our walls and completing some renovations. For secret resources, Vancouver has a number of great wholesale suppliers and boutique like furniture/home décor shops so its not hard to find something unique it just takes a good eye and some patience.

Thanks so much for sharing Sherina & helping us all Live, Love & Lounge in beauty!  Visit the Beauty Through Balance website to see her entire line.  We highly recommend it.  – Candy

Aloe Vera Juice Beauty – Inspired by Chiva Som’s Pure Source Treatments

15 Jan

Chiva Som has an entire treatment series devoted to the use of aloe. I already love playing with aloe vera juice to create new DIY spa treats so I buy it by the gallon from The Vitamin Shoppe. Many people swear drinking it helps digestive problems, but I tried and nearly gagged! I’ll stick to topical uses thanks.

basil pic via seedparade.co.uk

The spa mixes aloe with a secret blend of essential oils which they won’t divulge. So I created my own Chiva Som aloe blend, with lemongrass and basil. Popular ingredients in Thai cuisine, both Lemongrass and Basil have aromatherapeutic benefits ideal for curing the winter doldrums.

Lemongrass is known to be uplifting for it’s citrusy aroma and is available from retailers like Seed Parade.

Lemongrass on one of my favorite spa CDs!

Basil is said to clear the mind, induce focus & is one of the best all around rejuvenating fragrances

There are 2 ways to make the blend: Either buy fresh lemongrass & basil from the grocery & mash with a mortar & pestle. Then mix it into aloe juice & keep in the refrigerator. Or if you prefer, buy essential oils – about 5 drops ea. per cup of aloe juice.

Some ways to use this beauty nectar:

Manicure Moisturizer – Pour into fingertip bowls and soak to banish dry cuticles

Body Bliss – Exfoliate your body with your favorite scrub. Apply aloe with hands or a bush. Wrap in a warm towel (right out of the dryer is yummy) and relax for 15 – 20 mins. Shower off in cool water.

Office Pick Me Up – Keep a small glass of the concoction on your desk. Throughout the day, slather on hands (it dries super fast) or just inhale the aroma.

If you missed any other Chiva Som features this week, check out how to make their Marinated Sea Bass or Taro Cake. Do their Thai Kickboxing class or decorate your bedroom. Just click Chiva Som at the right.

Live, Love & Lounge, Candy

Halloween Masquerade Ball #SpaWeekGossip Recap

29 Oct

Even though due to Twitter troubles we weren’t able to mask ourselves, we still had a blast unmasking our favorite beauty masks & recipes. In fact, there were so many great DIY recipes – we’re devoting a separate blog post to them!

At the spa or at home, peel away, hardening, mud, seaweed, mint, face, hands, feet we crave them all. AND we’d rather mask and massage separately at the spa. But, a few of us didn’t know masking was an important part of skin care. It helps maintain hydration and keeps pesky lines at bay.

TRICK or TREAT: When masking at home, we get our jollies shocking our loved ones with our spa masks! Hmmm, maybe a new Halloween costume is in order?

Seriously we want these results from our masks. . . no tricks please:

lighter and brighter skin
long term anti aging
smaller pores
smooth, soft skin
oil reduction
blackhead removal

We’d like to DIY BUT, when we don’t have the time to clean the kitchen, we choose these treats:

@therapearl Eye Mask
Erno Lazlo Sea Mud mask
@bosciaskincare black mask
@katesomerville Papaya mask
Philosophy Mint mask
Shiseido Sheet Mask
@LeafandRusher clay mask
@talikacosmetics Sleeping Beauty mask
@sphatika use pearl, crystal & gold
@kerstinflorian moor mud body wrap
@olehenrickson African Red Tea mask for firming face
Peter Thomas Roth Pumpkin mask

For homemade treats see our Masquerade post (& feel free to add your homemade beauty brews in the comments)

When to mask? @spaweek recs. at least two times a week before bed – But @artofthespa does it more Find time to mask by using fast acting masks and doing it in the shower or right after you get out.

And who won the masks from @RedDoorSpa and @Repechage?  Congrats to @LLLipgloss and @Shira_Marie!  Treats for you!

Join us next Wednesday for a Spa & the Silver Screen – we’ll be talking relaxing with our favorite movies and spa treats to do during those home screenings.

Michelle (SpaWeek) and Candy (ArtoftheSpa)

Give Your Guy a Sweetest Day Spa at Home Treat!

13 Oct

Stuck for Sweetest Day ideas for the guy who has it all? How about a spa treatment? This ultimate masculine spa evening offers relaxation, indulgence and togetherness. Sweet!

The Invite

Mail your sweetheart an invitation to dinner (or slip it into his briefcase) Request an RSVP.

The Nibbles

Make sure food selections can be kept warm during spa time, so there is an uninterrupted flow to the evening. If you order in, ask the restaurant to bring food in heat safe containers.

Don’t forget beverages and fresh fruit as pre-spa starters. Drink choices include water infusions . . . but a bottle of wine or a pitcher of his fave cocktail or beer may help him relax.

The Present

Buy your guy a robe and slippers. Create and print a “Menu” listing spa treatments and dinner. Place the menu on top of the robe and slippers and wrap.

Set up the Spa

Prepare pitchers of drinks, gather candles (woodsy scents like pine lend masculine appeal) and music. 

Create a nook by moving living room chairs next to the sofa to create an L shape. Cushion the floor, layering blankets, quilts, sleeping bags and sheets. Lean pillows around the edge and on the floor for seating – bed pillows, throw pillows, sofa cushions, floor cushions work great.

Use a low coffee table or trays set to the side for treatment supplies, beverage, snacks and candles.

 Twenty minutes before his arrival warm the oil and water, dim the lights, set up the music and light candles.

Spa Treatment Ingredients
12 – 14 Smooth flat stones a bit bigger than a quarter (from outside or a craft store) soaking in a bowl of warmed apricot oil (warm in the microwave 10 secs at a time)(option – add 2 drops of pine or cedarwood essential oil)
Cotton pads
2 Bowls of warm water
Toner (use your own, just don’t tell him)
Moisturizing (non-hardening) face mask
a stack of hand towels

The Spa Treatments

When he arrives, give him his gift. Pour him a beverage. Surprise! It’s a spa night! Have him remove his shoes and socks and put on his slippers. Optional: Ask him to put on the robe. Proceed with selected treatments & food at your own pace. Here’s a mélange of DIY masculine indulgences:

Hands Down

Sit across from him, taking one of his hands palm up. Holding a pebble from the oil, rub the stone in circles radiating from the middle of the palm out, then stroking it along his fingers. Turn the palm over and rub with your fingertips in the same pattern. Place one pebble between the spaces of his fingers & wrap the hand in a towel. Repeat on the other hand. Let him relax for 10 minutes. Remove the towel and stones rubbing in excess oil.

Romance alert: While his hands are “tied” is an excellent time to feed him fruit or beverages.


Using the oil from your fingers to massage his scalp. Beginning at the hairline, vigorously knead as if you were making bread. Next, gently pull his hair to stimulate circulation. Finish by squeezing the edges of his ears from the lobe along the outer rim upwards.

Brave Face

Arrange the thickest cushions on the floor in a “bed” and have Mr.-Blissed-Out-By-Now lay face up. Wet a cotton pad with water and clean his face and neck. Rub a stone horizontally across his forehead. Then press your fingers along the bone that encircles the eyes (the orbital bone), stoke from his chin up the cheeks and press your palms against his cheeks, then stoke from his collarbone up the neck. Apply toner to his face and neck. Spread the mask over the face and neck, placing a damp cotton pad over eyes.


While the face mask sets, place the pebbles between his toes a la Hands Down above. Massage his calves and feet for 15-20 minutes. Whether he’s robed or not also makes a difference. When you’re finished, use a warm cotton pad to clean the face mask off.

The treatment series can take as long as you like, feel like extending the hand massage? Go for it! Have dinner & enjoy the rest of your Sweetest Day evening.

Live, love and lounge, Candy