Saturday, May 25, 2013

For the Fellas......

This may seem like a horrible sexist generalization but I find it a lot easier to give DIY gifts to my female friends and family members than to the men in my life.  I don't know any gal who doesn't appreciate a hand knit scarf, a lightly scented moisturizing lotion, or a tin of home made lip balm.  I find men a bit trickier but no less deserving of my DIY love so I was thrilled when I found a blog post from Mountain Rose Herbs on Herbal Gifts for Dad.  While no one around here has much need for the Fancy Man 'Stache Wax,  I thought my sweetie might be interested in an upgrade from plain old shaving soap.  With his May birthday it seemed a perfect time to try my hand at making shaving cream which turned out to be dead simple.

I used apricot kernel oil, aloe vera gel, shea butter, white clay, baking soda, unscented Castile soap, and a few drops of cedarwood and bay essential oils for a pleasant, manly scent.  It took maybe 5 minutes to melt the shea butter with the oil, another minute or two to mix in the remaining ingredients, and a couple of minutes of with the stick blender to whip everything into a lovely, fluffy, mousse-like texture.   After the first use he tells me it makes for a fantastic shave and he loves it-not bad for 10 minutes work!
The Mountain Rose blog post also included a recipe for aftershave.  I made a batch of Bay Rum aftershave last year which included a lot of rum, bay essential oil, and not a whole lot else and I thought he might be interested in a change so I threw this new recipe together last night as well:  witch hazel, aloe vera gel, orange peel, a cinnamon stick, crushed allspice, a few cloves, an ounce of rum, and a few drops of bay rum essential oil.  This will take 4 weeks before it matures and I can strain it into a bottle so no verdict as yet but I can't resist opening the jar for a sniff every now and again.  In addition to its lovely scent, the orange peel, witch hazel, and aloe should all provide beneficial antibacterial and skin-soothing elements and I expect it to make a nice final product.

Father's Day isn't that far off but you still have plenty of time to throw together a lovingly crafted DIY shaving set for the man in your life should you feel so inspired.  And if you are (or know) a razor-using woman I'm sure the shaving cream would be a treat for the legs as well--no need to be exclusionary!
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