9 Homemade Beauty Products That Make Perfect Frugal Gifts for Her

easy diy gift ideas for her

I grew up in the 90s, when every girl got either a shower gel gift set from Bath and Body Works or a collection of Lip Smackers lip balms as a gift for basically any occasion.

As nostalgic as these things make me, the ingredients make me shudder.

I have a (general) rule that if I can’t pronounce it, I don’t use it.

I’ve been on the hunt for some frugal homemade beauty products to make as gifts for the ladies in my life, especially as Mother’s Day draws near.

One of the biggest struggles of my mom life has been doing those simple things to feel pretty again. In between the constant spit-up, dirty diapers, and the need for showers to last under 3 minutes, it has been  difficult to give myself some pampering.

And also, can we please take a minute and talk about how expensive buying natural products can be? I’m all for organic, vegan, locally-sourced skin care, but I’m not about to fork over a bunch of money for it, especially when I can make my own.

So when I found these recipes, I was overjoyed! And bonus: You probably already have most (if not all, depending on your current level of commitment to the natural lifestyle) ingredients in your cabinets.

9 Frugal Homemade Beauty Products (That Make Perfect Gifts!)

Coconut Oatmeal Sugar Scrub

diy exfoliating coconut oatmeal sugar scrub

photo credit and recipe from Meg O. on the Go

Sugar scrubs are a super easy DIY project, and completely customizable. Choose between white and brown sugar, customize the oil (for body scrubs I prefer avocado, coconut, or jojoba), and even add in some essential oils if you want (but please avoid citrus oils as they can make the skin photo-sensitive).

I really like this recipe because of the addition of the oatmeal. Oatmeal is gently cleansing, as well as soothing to dry or itchy skin.

This scrub is perfect for sensitive or dry skin.

Plus, it smells like oatmeal cookies. Totally a plus.

Homemade Rose Water  diy rose water

photo credit and recipe from Frugal Family Home

Did your grandma ever talk to you about rose water?

Mine didn’t, but I learned about it on my own. And apparently it’s a classic addition to the skin care routine.

Rose water balances the oils on the skin, gently correcting oily skin. It’s also soothing, and aids the skin in healing in case of sunburn.

Word on the street is it plays a big part in smoothing out the skin and shrinking the appearance of pores.

15-Minute Lip Balm

easy diy lip balm

photo credit and recipe from A Better Way to Thrive

My husband and I are addicted to lip balms. But ever since we realized that the alcohols in most lip balms and chap sticks actually dry out the lips (great marketing, I guess, since it means you need more?), we became much more careful of what we actually purchase.

I prefer to make them at home to keep the costs down, plus I like to play with different essential oils and create my own.

Also, one time I melted some chocolate in my lip balm concoction and it was one of the best life decisions I’d ever made. So keep that in mind. Maybe create a Thin Mint-style by melting some chocolate chips and adding a drop or two of peppermint essential oil.

DIY Dry Shampoo easy diy dry shampoo recipe

 photo credit and recipe from Living Well Spending Less

As I stated above, showers for me in this stage of life are about 3 minutes long before Mr I’m-ONLY-Happy-When-Mommy-Holds-Me is totally over me not holding him.

It’s for this reason that I love this recipe for homemade dry shampoo.

I’ve used this recipe for a while and it blends well. I don’t have anything to compare it to as far as store-bought, because I’ve never been a fan of aerosol-powered products, but I really like this recipe. And I smell like a cookie, so that’s perfect for me!

Homemade Bath Bombs

easy diy homemade bath bombs

photo credit and recipe from A Beautiful Mess

Are there really moms who have time to take a bath? If you happen to know one, add a few of these beauties into her gift. They are gorgeous, easy to make, and perfectly customizable.

Plus, since they are dry and won’t “go bad”, your supply will last a long time.

Which is good, because I don’t know many moms who have time for regular baths.

Aloe and Green Tea Facial Scrub

easy diy aloe green tea facial scrubphoto credit and recipe from Sweet Simple Living

Every good skin care routine includes an exfoliating step to scrub off the dead skin cells and bring the fresh new cells to the surface. So of course this step should do double-duty!

Aloe and green tea are both so beneficial to the skin. Aloe is hydrating, and the caffeine in the green tea stimulates blood flow to the cells. Combined, these are an anti-aging powerhouse.

Maybe don’t mention that it’s anti-aging when you gift it, but consider your audience.

My tired-as-a-mother eyes would be allllll about anti-aging right now. 29 is too early for wrinkles, thank you very much.

Lavender Milk Bath
homemade lavender milk bath recipe

photo credit and recipe from My Frugal Adventures



Another bath recipe? I know, I know, but this one is so soothing and relaxing, I had to include it! If there is one thing I know from navigating motherhood alongside my friends, it’s that just because we are sleeping, that does not mean we feel relaxed.

Sometimes Mama needs to chill.

Milk in the bath is an age-old tradition, meant to aid the skin in restoring fatty acids and soothe irritated skin.

Along with milk, this recipe also calls for magnesium-containing epsom salts, which help the muscles relax, as well as aids with a gentle systemic detox.

So basically, if you know a stressed-out and over-exerted mama, this is your go-to gift for her. And also, maybe offer to watch the kids for an hour while she soaks.

Peppermint Foot Soak

homemade peppermint foot soak

photo credit and recipe from A Cultivated Nest

Another pampering classic, the foot soak is amazing after a long day of chasing little people, or working outside the home, or when you’re just in need of a reset.

Since the feet have the largest pores on the body, they are a great choice to utilize when you need to detox (or give your body good things, like magnesium).

Foot soaks can be scented or non-scented. The peppermint in this recipe is both soothing and energizing, restoring your feet to their best function.

Cinnamon Vanilla Whipped Body Butter

diy whipped body butter

 photo credit and recipe from A Cultivated Nest

And finally, I couldn’t have a homemade beauty products roundup without including the number one beauty gift classic, the body butter.

Whipped body butter is lightweight, nourishing, and moisturizes the skin without leaving it feeling heavy or slick.

Because a little goes a long way, it’s an inexpensive gift as well. There is no need to give someone more than 4-8 ounces of body butter. It will probably take them a long time to use it all up.

Wrap It Up

So there you have it – my top 9 frugal homemade beauty product gift ideas. Gift them to your mom, mother-in-law, college bestie, or yourself (I won’t tell).

I may or may not be making some of these again for myself this week during my GYST day. All the recipes are so simple, they will be easy to add to my day, and the benefits will last for months!

If you found this article helpful, would you please share it? I would be so thankful!

easy diy gift ideas for her

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What You Need in Your Natural Medicine Cabinet

how to stock a natural medicine cabinet, natural medicine, natural wellness cabinet, healthy medicine cabinet, medicine cabinet makeover

Today I’m going to take you through our natural medicine cabinet.

When transitioning to a more natural, wellness-based lifestyle, one of the major changes is how you treat illness. A wellness-based system looks at not just symptom relief, but immune support.

Your body comes equipped with a natural immune system. When you give it standard OTC medicine, you run the risk of suppressing the immune response, dragging out illnesses for longer than necessary.

Supporting the immune system requires a holistic approach that includes not only symptom relief but also natural detoxification and organ support.

The best part about a natural cabinet is that everything has multiple uses, so you don’t just have random things sitting around. Many of these staples are also ingredients for DIY projects like homemade toothpaste, homemade air fresheners, and facial moisturizers.

Ready for the tour? Here’s what’s in my cabinet:


Activated charcoal – for detoxing or food poisoning (also put in tooth powder for whitening!)

Witch hazel – an astringent, great for cooling and healing the skin.  I typically use this with any sprays that I would make with essential oils as it tends to evaporate faster than water.

Tallow – High in vitamin A and E, this healing balm is what I use with a drop of melaleuca essential oil to keep my eczema away.  I’ve also mixed in frankincense, lavender, and peppermint to help soothe my skin after a bad sunburn.

Organic raw honey – also good for skin healing and antibacterial properties.  I usually use this for a face wash but I also use it for sun burns.

Echinacea tea – For immune support, especially if I’m coming down with a cold.

Raw organic coconut oil – For skin health, burns, and antibacterial protection.  I also add essential oils to this.

Magnesium oil – nothing helped my first trimester food aversions like spritzing this oil on my stomach before meals!  It absorbs easily through the skin and works quickly.

Bentonite clay – to remove toxins, either as a face mask (which is amazing!) or taken internally.  It attracts toxins to itself and is then easily excreted.

Cranberry capsules – to treat UTIs or kidney infections

Essential oils – I use all sorts of essential oils for just about everything.  I apply either directly to the skin (following precautions for safe dilution), diffuse aromatically (especially when we don’t feel well we like to diffuse the respiratory and protection blends), and take internally (be very careful about internal use, make sure if you are ingesting that it is 100% pure grade, not just “contains 100% pure”). If you would like more information about essential oils, see my post on safe usage.

Fractionated coconut oil – to dilute essential oils.  It’s always liquid, it doesn’t have that coconut aroma to it so it doesn’t interfere with the aromatic benefits of the essential oils.  It absorbs quickly and doesn’t stain clothes (or microfiber couches – ask me how I know this).

Veggie caps  – for making our own capsules!  Especially for ingesting Oregano (a hot oil) and DigestZen (which doesn’t taste that great when you’re nauseous), this is the perfect way to get the benefits when we need them!

So that’s a peak into our medicine cabinet!  One thing we don’t have yet that I would like to get soon are epsom salts for detox baths.  Also great during pregnancy to help stop preterm labor!

What’s in your healthcare cabinet?

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No more shampoo!

how to make the change to a no shampoo method

A quick recap of the past few weeks:

(When having friends over or visiting friends)

Me: Hi!  So good to see you!  Uhh…sorry about my hair…I’m transitioning to a no-chemical hair routine and my hair is detoxing.  I really do shower…uhhhh…

Yeah.  The transition period of the no-chemical thing  is NO FUN.  I feel like I’m 13 all over again.  And trust me, 13 was not a good year.

I’m not sure if my hair is finally adjusting or I’m finally figuring out the best way to go “no shampoo.”  I’ve done this before and I don’t remember the transition time looking like I hadn’t showered in a week.

I think I’ve finally settled on a good routine.  Before I wash my hair, I pour about 1 1/2 TBSP baking soda into a little container.  When I’m ready to wash my hair, I fill the rest of it with warm water, gently pour it over my head, and massage it into my scalp and rinse. Following that I pour about 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar into a large plastic cup (I get my ACV for personal care use organic by the gallon) and fill the rest with warm water.  Pour over hair (avoid the eyes!!!) and let sit on your hair for a few minutes before rinsing thoroughly.  When I had longer hair I used to dip sections of my hair into the cup at a time.  Now that it’s short it’s easier to cover all of my hair with the rinse.

I am still researching homemade shampoo. If you are looking for natural shampoo options, be sure to check out my Pinterest board for a look at the ideas I find.


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Why Your Makeup is Important

Why you should care about your makeup choices

“Not for Internal Use” is a common warning on the outside of…most everything related to skin or hair care.  Makeup, ointments, lotions, and even toothpastes all have this mark, warning us not to ingest these products that we are applying – ironically – to the largest organ of our bodies, the skin.

It is well documented that our skin is a living, breathing organ.  It stands to reason then that what you put on your skin is absorbed and distributed systemically.  According to an article published by The Telegraph in the UK (by the way, the EU has banned over 1,100 chemicals from their cosmetics industries), the average woman absorbs approximately 5 pounds of makeup a year.   Having trouble ditching those last few pesky pounds?  Perhaps ditching the chemicals is a good start.  Gross.

Why are Chemicals Allowed?

So then, if these chemicals are so toxic that they shouldn’t be ingested (or, “let into” the body), why can these products be allowed on the shelves?  The Food and Drug Administration does not evaluate these things.  They are not regulated.  Now, I’m all for people making their own decisions.  As much as I can appreciate that the EU has banned over a thousand chemicals from their makeup, I’m not going to demand that the FDA does the same.  Instead, as a consumer, I choose to be educated and make my own decision.

What Should We Do?

No one makes me buy makeup.  Or lotion.  Or skin care.  Knowing what I do about the body as a nurse )and someone a little bit obsessed with natural health and wellness), I apply my knowledge and creativity and make my own products. I use ingredients that I research and purchase myself.  Because I am educated, I choose to act.  I make my own deodorant, face wash, lotion, toothpaste, and I’m currently researching shampoo options.

Make the Switch

I don’t typically wear much makeup, but when I do, I like makeup from Everyday Minerals. 100% cruelty-free (vegan), the ingredients are simple, the colors are trendy but classic, and the prices are actually very comparable to popular drugstore brands. For instance, the eye shadow (which goes on super smooth and stays on all day) is $6. For real. And their blush? So smooth and beautiful. To die for.

Wellness is a journey, and a very personal one.  Because I know that my whole body is effected by what I put on my skin, it makes me much more careful.  My liver is just as much effected by my lotion as my skin.  There should be no difference then between what is safe to ingest and safe to put on my skin.  For me, the choice is simple: if I can’t eat it, it shouldn’t go on me.

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