Sometimes I find all it takes to kick-start a great DIY run is a new ingredient or two. A scent, texture, colour, or flavour can really spark my imagination and send me off into a fabulous little world where I make a gigantic mess and come out with tons of new tubes and tins of goodies (and the occasional whoopsie as well). Here’s a list of ingredients that have been inspiring me as of late—I’d really encourage you to give them a try, they are all fantastic!

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Labdanum Essential Oil
This essential oil was a curiosity buy, but I ended up absolutely falling in love with it. It smells utterly fantastic. It’s deep, spicy, mysterious, a little cinnamon-y, and slightly addictive. It’s technically a resin, and as such it is very thick. I like to rub a drop of it between my wrists until it melts and blends in. I keep a bit of it next to my bed, I add a little to my argan oil serum. It was used by the Pharaohs of ancient Egypt to bind their false beards made from goat hair. It’s sometimes used as a substitute for ambergris, and if royalty loved it, I think that explains why I think it’s so fantastic.

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Marshmallow Root
After discovering the awesome detangling abilities of marshmallow root, I will never be without out. Period. If you are tired of your hair tying itself in knots, get some, you won’t regret it.

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Spirit of Africa
This beautiful spice blend of smoked sweet peppers, garlic, basil, and salt is my new favourite thing to add to pretty much everything. I highly recommend it!

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Clay
If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, my love of clay isn’t news to you. I’ve used it for masks for a couple years, but now I am absolutely in love with its cosmetic applications. From lipstick to face powder, clay is incredibly useful and awesome.

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Rose Petals
We’ve got a big, beautiful rose bush out back, and I’ve been having tons of fun devising uses (beyond just rose water) for some of the petals. I can’t wait until I have a big herb garden to play with!

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Raw Honey
After a trip to Spillimacheen, British Columbia that saw me return home with five different types of raw honey, I am totally in love with the stuff. For iced tea, infused honey, face masks, and minor injuries, it’s just amazing!

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Cocoa Butter
This was one of the first ingredients I fell in love with (one of the first ingredients I ever purchased as well), and I am shamelessly re-kindling my love affair with it. Because it melts at 34°C, it is generally solid at room temperature, but melts readily when massaged into the skin. I love to turn a little nugget of it around in my hands, and am always rewarded with baby soft skin that smells deliciously of cocoa.

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Virgin Coconut Oil
Speaking of ingredients that smell freaking fantastic, virgin coconut oil is like summer in a tub. It smells so fantastic that I almost wonder if something is wrong with my every time I don’t lick myself after applying it. It melts at 24°C, so it’s been liquid for all the best parts of the summer (yay for hot weather), and my skin just loves it. It’s especially awesome for knees, elbows, and other rough patches.

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Smoked Grapeseed Oil
This is a culinary oil, though I suppose you could add it to a body butter if you wanted to smell like beef jerky all day. I love adding this to veggie burgers, sautéing vegetables in it, and mixing it with olive oil for a bread dipper. Its smokey flavour and scent are strong and dry, and it has a delightful, light mouthfeel. It’s smokey perfection, basically.

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