Homemade moisturizer recipe plus glass container review

Note: I received Infinity Jars reviewed in this blog post at no charge. All opinions expressed are my own. 

DIY moisterizer and Infinity Jars review | Kale and Ale mainI’ve always had very dry skin, which is a blessing during the acne-prone teenage years and a curse every Midwest winter. Since returning from living in a tropical climate three years ago, I’ve tried so many masks, scrubs, moisturizers and serums to make my skin less dry. I’ve spent more on skincare than makeup the past few years.

DIY skincare

Getting into essential oils this past year,  and my affinity for DIY recipes for my body has led me to realize these over-the-counter products are so expensive and can have ingredients I don’t want on my body. (Learn more about what products are more safe or better to avoid.) This has led me to play around with homemade body products recently.

RELATED: Hydrating homemade beer face mask recipe

I love that by making my own body care and using different products I can control scents, textures, moister levels, etc. (I’m also using essential oils to make home cleaning products and am loving the results.) It’s important to use high-quality essential oils and follow the recipe, but there are many resources out there for recipes and information, including this guide to essential oils 101. Some favorite recipes with essential oils include:

Another benefit of making these products at home is price. I was spending a lot on face serum (a small jar can easily run $50-plus) and realized, especially since I wanted as few ingredients as possible, I could make my own, while controlling exactly what’s in it, for much less. So I’ve come up with the following recipe for face serum:

Dry skin facial serum

DIY moisterizer and Infinity Jars review | Kale and Ale recipeIngredients

  • 2 drops cypress essential oil
  • 3 drops lavender essential oil
  • 2 tablespoons almond oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon Vitamin E


Mix all ingredients into a 30 ml glass dropper jar. Store in a cool, dry place.

To use: Shake before each use. Place 2 to 3 drops in your palm and spread on your face.

Infinity Jar review

Infinity Jars | Kale and AleAfter all that work and time, I need a quality vessel for the products. I’ve looked around for good-quality glass jars, so when Infinity Jars contacted me to review their containers, the timing couldn’t be better. I looked on their website and read about the jars, and they are exactly what I’m looking for in beauty containers. According to Infinity Jars, the containers:

  • Have a tight screw top and airtight seal
  • Contain ultra-violet filtering, blocking out harmful visible rays that degrade organic matter
  • Are scent-proof
  • Naturally preserve and rejuvenate freshness
  • Come in a variety of styles and shapes (over 70) for whatever you are looking to use them for

Suggested uses include a place to hold seasoning herbs, salts, teas, flour, cosmetics, DIY locations, essential oil blends, perfume and more.

Based on my needs, I decided on the following bottle styles:

I loved the idea of the glass screw top jar. It currently has the whipped body butter mentioned above, and is keeping it the perfect consistency (somewhat of a tall order for something with coconut oil as the base). Beyond beauty products, it’s the perfect size for seasoning mixes or herbs I dry and grind from my garden.

And I have been planning to get a glass dropper jar and glass roller applicator for serum and perfume. They both dispense the perfect amount of product, and it’s staying fresh. When I roll the containers around, they are very air tight, with no leaks (which is great because I’m pretty rough on my bottles and jars). I am really happy with the glass jars, and again Infinity Jars come in a large variety of shapes and sizes.

Infinity Jars giveaway-Closed

The great people at Infinity Jars want to share the love. One reader of Kale and Ale will win a $30 gift card toward a purchase at Infinity Jars. Since it’s a gift card, there are no restrictions on who can enter or win, as they ship worldwide. Enter via the Rafflecopter widget below. The contest starts at midnight Thursday, Jan. 26, 2017, and runs until Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2017, midnight central U.S. time. Winner will be picked at random via Rafflecopter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monthly subscription boxes

Intrigued by monthly subscription boxes for a long time, I finally took the plunge and ordered a few to see if all the hype was worth it, and if any of these delivery programs is actually worth my hard-earned money.

After subscribing to one that is only food, one that is only healthy and beauty and one that is a mix of both, I realized they are very different and generally speaking, the “best” one is the one that fits your needs and expectations. Having said that, I was most excited for the Nature Box (food) because it was practical and the Green Grab Bag (health and beauty) because you can pick it yourself and it’s fun to play with new beauty items.

Have you tried a subscription box? What box, and what did you think? I’m up for trying different plans!

Nature Box

Nature Box KaleAndAle.comAbout: Nature Box is 5 snack bags of the house brand that don’t contain high fructose corn syrup, trans fats or artificial colors or flavors. I was impressed with the variety of food in my box. Minimally processed, the ingredients on the bags are all familiar, pronounceable words. These are full-size bags of the food,which I liked.

Cost: $19,95 for 5 snacks a month; save $10 your first month.

Ease of getting a diet-restrictive box: Soon testing the ability to personalize boxes, I couldn’t get a diet-restrictive box when I asked for a vegan one. But the ingredients are clearly marked on each package.

What my box contained: Each box has a theme, and this one was “blissful beach days.”

  • Lemon tea biscuits
  • Big island pineapple
  • Country ranch sunflower kernels
  • Whole wheat blueberry figgy bars
  • Garden tomato almonds

Green Grab Bag

Green Grab Bag KaleAndAle.comAbout: For the $15 I spent on my box, I got a full-size mineral eyeshadow that is $13 retail and a handful of samples. I needed eyeshadow anyway and use mineral eyeshadow in this price range, so at the very least I broke even on the box, though I feel I got a good value and because I built my own box, was guaranteed samples I would use.

Mineral eyeshadow in Latte

Mineral eye shadow in Latte

I got an extra surprise when I was looking at what I got and realized the entire reason I got this box, the eye shadow, was from Eastern Iowa! New Hampton-based Mineral Hygenics uses very few ingredients (fewer than my big-name current mineral eye shadow!) and goes on smooth and stays. It has just the right amount of shimmer and color for day or night. I am loving that I found an Iowa-based company. Not sure how they stayed under my radar. BUT they are so sweet and “Iowa nice,” they are giving readers 10% off Mineral Hygenics products through Nov. 25 with coupon code kaleandale.

Cost: $15, $25 or $35 to build your own box, or $15 a month with a subscription.

Ease of getting a diet-restrictive box: By building a box I had control over what products I was getting. It is clearly marked what you are getting and what’s in it. Every item has a link to find out more about the product.

What my box contained: Generally a small build-your-own box will fit one full-size item and a handful of sample size items (which can be hefty sample sizes).

Conscious Box

Conscious Box KaleAndAle.comAbout: Mid-month, Conscious Box delivers healthy, natural alternatives of everyday products. It could be food, health or beauty products from various natural companies, mostly in sample sizes. You can go on the Conscious Box website and buy more of the products you like. By reviewing your box, you get points that can be applied toward different things.

Cost: $19.95 a month

Ease of getting a diet-restrictive box: When signing up, you can choose classic, vegan or gluten-free boxes. I went with vegan.

What my box contained: Each box had a theme, and my vegan box was “find your nut.”

  • Loads of Love: Soap Nuts
  • K-Pax Energy Booster
  • Brain Food Bar
  • Organic Square Bar Cocoa Crunch
  • Coastal Scents All Natural African Black Soap
  • GreenShield Organic Free & Clear Laundry Detergent
  • Celestial Seasonings Goodnight Herbal Tea
  • BumBoosa Bamboo Baby Wipes
  • Aquatowel Water-Based Hand Towel
  • Good Boy Organics BOPS