Beauty Navel-Gazing & E’s Scent-It-Yourself Sea Spray (DIY Recipe)

I’ve been paying a lot more attention to my appearance lately.  It started with makeup last year (so late in my life!).  I live in a household where there was like no instruction on makeup.  Ma’s idea of a done up face is spots covered, foundation on, lipstick on, eyeshadow swiped all across the lid, and powder.  And her color matching is not always ideal.  Hair is super pixie short for ease of laziness.  She does not approve of much makeup beyond super subtle.

So at the grand and sorely advanced age of 26 I have struck out into the world of cosmetics and beauty.  I have trolled sites, researched my ass off, and maybe made a few too many purchases trying to figure out what works okay (like that fucking Not Your Mother’s Sea Salt Spray which I still need to return to Ulta– ugh, chemical coconut overdose!).  I have learned that I should stay away from black eyeliner and liquid eyeliner should stay far away from me.  I have learned I don’t want a flawless, pore-blurred perfectly smoothed by makeup face, nor do I entirely mind eye bags so long as they don’t make me look close to the grave.  I don’t want to look like no porcelain doll – just fuckin gorgeous.  Now that I am 26 its time to do myself up and look like a tiny 5 foot adult without overdoing it and coming off like a 5 foot 17-year old who’s overcompensating.  I have learned that Totalbeauty lists are dangerously addictive and should be approached with caution.

I’ve also cut my hair short, dyed it back to the gorgeous newborn copper penny hue I started out with (and naturally matured to dark dark blonde as I grew), struggled with colored hair issues and learned about proper shampoo, avoidance of sulfates, and figuring out how to condition properly (aka, doing it).  I also got sick of my super straight, fine locks and set about fixing that so I could get that ‘messy yet not out of control, I’m in control of my life and do my homework, definitely gonna get a job and finish those odd 11 books stuck in my head’ ‘also kinda pretty’ look that’s ever so fashionable these days.

–I also started too many sentences with “I” and “also”, a major linguistic no-no my professors would lovingly skin me for, but this is my blog, dammit.  I’ll break the English language as I like, and do it with style!–

I’m sure I can and will blag more on this in other posts, but my point is that I’m a cook by compulsion, so naturally once I work out what I like in a product, my first instinct is to question whether or not I can do a better job more cheaply.  If its nutso messy I’m not doing it, ditto anything that requires an investment in ingredients I may not feasibly use again (I’m looking at you, custom taupe eyeshadow fiasco of 2013!  Someone – not me – decided to do me a favor and buy the largest thing of glycerin they could find.  The pigment turned out to be exactly the shade I ordered and exactly the worst shade for me.  Think clown zombie.  Yes.).  On the other hand, DIY is fabulously customizeable, and as I am notoriously sensitive to smell, there are just some products that however effective, I just can’t use.  Fukkin ‘Not Your Mother’s Sea Salt Spray.’

So in lieu of that, I make my own sea spray, which also doubles as a texturizing kinda hairspray (somewhat crunchy).  It does its job.  It does not dry out my hair.  Combined with air-drying in twisty buns it gives me fantastically wavy-curly locks and provides hours of entertainment for my family.  Best of all, you can make it smell however you want, and it’s so easy I could cry.  Whip it up, spray in your own perfume or whatever smelly stuff you like.  I can make this with the stuff in the bath closet.

Recipe is as follows:

E’s Scent-It-Yourself Sea Salt Spray

4oz bottle (holds a half cup.  I use a mist bottle from Aura Cacia – it’s pretty, I’ve had zero problems with the spritzer, and it cost me less than three bucks).

4oz hot water (1/2 cup).

1 tablespoon sea salt (add more for a stiffer texture, just be aware it’s more drying too).

1/8 teaspoon Argan oil (for reasons).

Dab of water-based hair gel (I guess you can skip this, but I get a lot of natural looking hold with this as long as I don’t go overboard).

Leeetle bit conditioner (Pick your favorite water soluble or water-breakupable stuff).

Couple drops of smelly essental oil or spritz of perfume.  Or lots.  (Make it smell nice.  Light smell, powerful smell, whatev).

Here’s how to do it:

Dissolve the salt into a half cup of hot water, stirring with a fork until all the grains are gone.  Add desired amount of hair gel and conditioner, stir until gel is dissolved and conditioner is either dissolved or broken up into the smallest particles you can manage (this will allow the conditioner to get out of the spray nozzle easier).  Add in argan oil, stir.  Add essential oils and/or spritz in perfume for desired scent.  Stir well, pour into bottle, fasten top and shake vigorously.  Spray into sink to ensure everything is coming out as it should.  Allow to cool.

Shake well before each use.


Here is the recipe again, without my very useful annotations.

E’s Scent-It-Yourself Sea Salt Spray

4oz bottle (holds a half cup).

4oz hot water (1/2 cup).

1 tablespoon sea salt (add more for a stiffer texture, just be aware it’s more drying too).

1/8 teaspoon Argan oil.

Dab of water-based hair gel.

Leeetle bit conditioner.

Couple drops of smelly essential oil or spritz of perfume.  Or lots.

Here’s how to do it:

Dissolve the salt into a half cup of hot water, stirring with a fork until all the grains are gone.  Add desired amount of hair gel and conditioner, stir until gel is dissolved and conditioner is either dissolved or broken up into the smallest particles you can manage (this will allow the conditioner to get out of the spray nozzle easier).  Add in argan oil, stir.  Add essential oils and/or spritz in perfume for desired scent.  Stir well, pour into bottle, fasten top and shake vigorously.  Spray into sink to ensure everything is coming out as it should.  Allow to cool.

Shake well before each use.


This ain’t exact science.  Much of my DIY measuring is altered on the go and I tend to measure visually.  “I use this cup, and dust the bottom with garlic powder, then add the oil…”  If you want less hold, use less hair gel.  Drier result, less oil and condish.    Customize my DIY for yourself.

You literally can make this smell however you like provided you have the stuff to do it.  I combine tangerine essential oil with Laurence Dumont Vanille Noire for some spice.  If you are going for a specific scent, be aware of what the other ingredients smell like – conditioner, gel, oil.  Make sure they combine well.  Some recipes suggest adding a little alcohol to preserve everything, but I haven’t found it necessary.  Shake before each use as the conditioner particles will settle over time and we just don’t want to take that chance, do you?

This is, of course, not at all the perfect time to write this article, as my hair is on its last day before a shower (but looks great because of the above spray), my face is breaking out, and my henna is mostly gone.  Therefore no pictures for attractive illustration, but I can assure you they looked fantastic.

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