Today’s guest post is written exclusively for the Edible Goddess blog by Angelina Elliott, a best selling author, Master Herbalist, and Raw Vegan Chef (among much else!). To read more about Angelina, check out her sensational blog!
I was raised on beauty. My mother was a model and always emphasized the importance of taking care of your skin. I would watch her do her beauty routine and emulate her in every way. I grew up traveling and living overseas. I was completely hooked on French beauty magazines. I loved how French women always looked so fresh and beautiful. My mom used to tell me that French women had the most beautiful breasts in the world so I always thought to myself, when I grow up I will have the most beautiful everything in the world. I was a kid, but that didn’t stop me from manifesting beauty in my life. I would sit and dream up all kinds of things to put on my face and that led to a life long passion of making masks and other beauty treatments. I was obsessed with coming up with the very best formulas.
My love of beauty also led me to a life of clean living. I quickly learned that the better you ate, the prettier you woke up. Fruits and veggies give glowing skin whereas Oreo cookies and soda give you pimples and dull lack luster skin! Who wants that? I was an avid lover of fruits. I ate berries all the time and I was a complete orangearian! I loved, loved, loved oranges! We had an orange grove behind our house where I would play for hours on end and eat oranges until the cows came home. I am convinced that oranges are essential for woman’s health. For one thing, they look like mammary glands and another, they are full of vitamin C. What a combo! I used to love to rub the excess orange juice on my skin and wear it. Actually, this is where my idea for Wearing Your Food came from and the start of my book co-authored with Shannon Leone, Get Naked And Wear Your Food. I loved the way my skin looked after a day of oranges. Considering I was just a kid, it is amazing to think back on these times and realize I was so in tune with beauty and nature and the direct link between beauty and nature.
I love nature, I always have. There’s something truly magical about being deep in nature, with only the sounds of the wind, trees, birds, and small creatures. Plants have always inspired, fascinated, and delighted me. When I think beauty, I don’t think of beauty counters in malls or even the finest skin care available in spas. Instead, I turn to nature to look for the gift of beauty. For example, seaweed is legendary among Japanese women for beauty. Pearls are legendary among Chinese women. In Africa, Shea Butter is legendary among women. If you take notice all over the world from ancient times to now, you will find that the greatest beauty secrets point to nature. Cleopatra for example taught me to never take a bath without some sort of beautifying ingredient like honey and milk (for me, it was always soy milk because soy milk believe it or not is one of the most beautifying agents out there. It increases collagen and elastin in the skin). Cleopatra was all about using beautifying agents from nature. My Italian heritage taught me to eat lots of olives for beauty on the inside and to use olive oil on the outside. My Irish heritage taught me to look to the Fairy Folk for inspiration.
All of this has led me to where I am now. Although, I have worked in the finest spas & had access to professional skin care lines that as an Aesthetician that would make your head spin, I still look nature for all of my beauty needs. After all, if you really look at the latest research on anti-aging creams, potions, lotions, serums etc, you will always find something from nature in the line up. The only difference between using that and say using your own concoctions is this: you are getting it first hand, fresh, alive, and the way nature intended it, not adulterated with unpronounceable names, preservatives, cancer causing chemicals, etc.. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want that feeding my skin.
Oh yes, there’s the factor right there, FEEDING YOUR SKIN. Perhaps, I should back up just a bit here and mention that whatever we put on the skin, we are eating and drinking that substance, because the skin is the largest organ in the body and it absorbs anything and everything. If you load it with chemicals, it will start to age and die off. People think that aging is natural, yet aging is a result of what you have ingested in your life that is out of balance. Aging truly is a disease. All diseases can be summed up easily by realizing that disease starts with bad food and beverage choices, chemicals in the body, chemicals in your living environment, and toxic thinking. When we clean up these areas of our lives, including our thinking, we start to get younger, It’s really as simple as that! We as human beings though have to make everything harder than it is. It is in our nature to do this, to analyze and dissect everything.
When I was three years old, I made up my mind to never grow old and never die. People throughout my life have made fun of me for this concept and yet what I notice is this: my thinking pattern has kept me young, vibrant, and full of playful enthusiastic and bubbly energy. People younger than me now look older than me and I am simply staying ageless. It is an inside job all the way around & I am convinced of this. It is important to realize that it takes discipline not to buy into what everyone else is saying and doing, but the rewards are great! I will leave you with my fabulous beauty routine to inspire you, although you don’t have to do all that I do, as I realize this can be intimidating to those first starting out. Just stick with whatever you choose to do and you will be miles ahead of where you were before. You have to start somewhere or you will be nowhere!
My semi-typical beauty routine, sometimes it fluctuates as I am always experimenting and perfecting ~
In the AM, I cleanse my face with oatmeal, honey, and grapefruit: 1/2 cup oats mixed with equal parts of honey (I only use locally harvested, cruelty free honey from farmers I know) and slowly mix in 1/2 a grapefruit
I use gentle circular motions on my face and then rinse with warm water. I quickly splash my face with cold water.
I love a blend of jojoba, cacao butter, coconut oil, shea butter, grapeseed, olive, almond and avocado oil as my morning massage oil. I massage my skin gently and then tissue off the excess oil. I use aloe vera mixed with comfrey as my lifting serum, let that sit and then use a home-made organic moisturizer. I spray my face with home-made rose water and I am ready for the day!
In the PM, I do a pretty extensive routine on my face that includes a mask and a bath in honey and soy milk or honey and cacao butter. I cleanse my face with lemon at night – just lemon and warm water. It is important to note, that the warmer the better for opening up the pores prior to the honey treatment. I place gently warmed honey on my skin and let it sit on my skin for about an hour. I rinse the honey off with warm water and then run an ice cube all over my face. After this, I mash up bananas and place that all over my skin for 30 -40 minutes and rinse this off with warm water. Then, I warm up some coconut oil and cacao butter and massage the warm oil into your skin and leave on overnight.
During the week I also make and use various masks for my skin, alternate my flower waters that I make, and I do regular scrubs for my skin.