Saturday, April 4, 2020

How to Make an Easy DIY Washable Fabric Face Mask with a Filter Pocket using the Best Material for a Face Mask, Latex Free Options

Hi Everyone! 
DIY face mask with filter pocket
I started making protective fabric face masks. I am crazy busy making them for people but I wanted to get this post underway to help any of you trying to make one for yourself, your friends and your family. 

This post contains Amazon links to help you get the supplies you need delivered right to your door. When you use the links I provide for you, I earn a small amount at no cost to you. I truly thank you for using my links!😘

I have put together a how to video showing you 3 strap variations (two of them being latex free!) to put on your mask, what material is the best to use and how to sew an easy fabric face mask with a filter pocket. 

watch make an easy face mask video
A filter pocket allows you to slip a face mask filter between the layers of fabric to give you even more protection. You can get them on Amazon. I am currently investigating other material options to use as a filter. I'll get back to you with another post about that.
 face mask filters
A fabric face mask is washable so you can reuse it over and over which is great for our pocketbooks and earth friendly too. It may look intimidating to sew, but I tried to make the process as easy as possible. 

Face Mask Strap Options
Option #1: Fabric Tie Straps
The fabric tie straps tie at the back of your head making the mask highly adjustable for large and small head sizes. Because they are fabric, they are latex free. They are not hard to make, but they are time consuming.

Option #2: Elastic Straps
Elastic straps seem to be the most widely used material for fabric face masks.  They are easy to add to your mask creating elastic loops the go around you ears. The problem is typical elastic contains latex so allergic people should avoid it.

Option #3: Nylon or Polyester Loops
You will know exactly what I'm talking about when I explain what they are. Do you remember weaving potholders using a loom when you were a kid? Those loops you used to make the pot holder are the craft loops I'm talking about. 
weaving loops for face masks
They can be made of nylon, polyester, cotton or wool. We want to use the polyester or nylon loops because they have some stretch. They are not as stretchy as elastic but they will work just fine and they are latex free. Plus, it is easy to tie a knot in them to make the mask fit tighter. They create loops that go around your ears.

Get them on Amazon!

Best Material To Use to Make a DIY Face Mask
Some materials you can use to make a face mask filter small particles, like the COVID-19 Corona Virus, better than others. The issue is, some of the materials are stiffer and uncomfortable. They also can be difficult to breath through. A person who has breathing issues to begin with, such as asthma, would never be able to tolerate a face mask that is hard to breath through.

Therefore, the best materials for a DIY face mask may not be the highest filtering materials but you will be able to wear them more comfortably for a longer period of time.

Researchers at Cambridge University tested many materials for making face masks from vacuum cleaner bags to silk scarves. They tested how different materials filtered 1 micron particles and smaller 0.02 micron particles such as viruses.

For instance:
A surgical mask will filter 89% of small particles
A vacuum cleaner bag will filter 86% of small particles
A dishtowel will filter 73% of small particles
A cotton blend T shirt will filter 70% of small particles
A pillowcase will filter 57% of small particles

Double layers of fabric slightly improved the percentage of filtration. The more layers of fabric, the harder it is to breath.

The bottom line is the best, most wearable materials to use for to make a DYI face mask are cotton blend and cotton fabrics such as T shirt material, pillowcases and sheet material.

Here is a link the an awesome post from SmartAir regarding the Cambrigde University Study on the best filtering most breathable materials for making a DIY face mask.

They have some very informative charts and info. It's definitely worth checking out.

I like using bandanas. They are 100% cotton, easy to work with, inexpensive, and I like the patterns and colors.
bandannas for face masks

Get them on Amazon! 

Always wash your fabric before sewing with it. 100% cotton will shrink a little. Plus, there are chemical used in textile production that you shouldn't be breathing in.

The filters that you can use in a reusable DYI face mask generally seem to be activated charcoal filter paper that are not washable. They will improve the percentage for filtration and they are made to be breathable. Like I mentioned earlier in this post, I am investigating other materials that will work as face mask filters.

Here is the creamy red nail color I'm wearing, Zoya Sheri!
zoya sheri

This post is still under construction! sewing instruction images are on the way 
Instructions on How to Make a DIY Washable Fabric Face Mask with a Filter Pocket

Cut Fabric
Cut one 8 1/2" by 15" rectangle. I like to make a paper pattern to make it easier when making multiple face masks.

Fold in Half
Fold the rectangle in half.

Measure for Filter Opening
Measure a 2" space in the middle of the raw edges on the opposite side of the folded side. Mark the space with pins so you know to leave that area open when you sew that edge. This will be how you turn the mask inside out. It will also be the pocket opening to insert the filter.

Sew the Raw Edges
Sew the raw edges (with the pins) using a 1/4" seam allowance. Sew to the first pin. Leave the space open between the pins. Stitch the remaining seam after the second marking pin.

You can make the mask a little smaller by using a bigger seam allowance such as a 1/2" or 5/8".

Center the Seam
Move the seam to the center and press the seam open. 

Trim the Corners
Cut the corners being careful not to cut into the sewn seam

Prepare Straps
Elastic: Use 1/4" wide elastic. Cut two 7" long pieces of elastic.
or
Weaving Loops: Choose 2 loops to color coordinate with your mask fabric. Cut the loops so they are 7" in length.
or
Fabric Strips: Cut 4 strips of fabric 18" long by 3/4" wide. The long raw edge will need to be hidden so they don't fray. 

Fold a strip in half lengthwise and press making a crease in the center. Unfold the strip. 

Fold one side of the long raw edges to the center ironed crease. Press. 

Fold the other side of the long raw edges to the center ironed crease. Press. 

Fold the strip in half again and press. Stitch the seam closed close to the edge.

Pin the Straps to the Mask 
Elastic or Weaving Loop Straps
The elastic and the weaving loops are attached to the mask in the same way. One elastic strip or one weaving loop goes each one side of the mask. The elastic or loops will be sandwiched in between the two layers of fabric.

Pin one end of the strap to the top right side corner and the other end to the bottom right corner so the end of the elastic or loop lines up with the raw edge of the fabric.

Pin the other end of the strap to the top left side corner and the other end to the bottom left corner so the end of the elastic or loop lines up with the raw edge of the fabric.

Fabric Strips
Pin each of the four strips to each corner of the mask. Sandwich the strips inside the two layers of fabric. Match the end of each strip with the raw edge and pin in place. 

Sew the Sides of the Mask
Sew the sides of the mask to secure the straps and close the seam. Back stitch the straps to reinforce them.

Turn Inside Out
Turn the mask inside out through the 2" opening. Use your fingers to push the corners out.

Make the Pleats
Have the mask so that the seam with the opening is facing up. Fold the mask in half horizontally and press the folded edge making a crease. Unfold the mask.

Fold one edge to the center crease. Press the folded edge making another crease.

Fold the other edge to the center crease. Press the folded edge making another crease.

Flip the mask over.

Take the bottom crease and fold it half way between the middle and bottom crease. Pin in place. 

Take the middle crease and fold it half way between the middle and top crease. Pin in place. 

Take the top crease and fold it half way between the top crease and the top edge of the fabric. Pin in place. 

Sew the Sides
Sew the sides using a 1/4" seam allowance.

That's it! It's done!

 View my Video

Removing your Mask
When you come back home and want to remove your mask, wait. 

Don't touch the mask that is on your face wash until you have washed your hands for 20 seconds with soap and warm water to remove any contaminants. 

Grab the straps around your ears or untie the ties and remove the mask by holding the straps. 

Immediately spray the mask with disinfectant or better, machine wash or hand wash in warm/hot water to remove any virus on the mask. Dry the mask in the dryer so it is clean and ready for the next wear.

I hope this post helps you create masks to protect you and your loved ones. To my local friends, I can make a mask for you if you need one! Just let me know.

Stay healthy and safe!

xo
Licensed Cosmetologist, Esthetician, Makeup Artist, Create Spirit

 Wedding, special occasion or everyday makeup and skin care services available in the Philadelphia, Pa. area. Visit my makeup page for more information!

Thanks for using my amazon links💋
As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases at no cost to you. That keeps my blog running and supports the care of animals in need!😸

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

How to get your Gel Polish Manicure Off at Home with No Nail Damage

By now, your gel polish and fake nails are probably looking a mess! You are not alone. I just heard Kelly Ripa say she needed to get her gel manicure off. You can remove gel polish or fake nails yourself at home without any damage to your nails when you do it the right way.

If you decide you will just peel your gel off, think before you do it. Peeling gel polish or any other nail product off of your nails will also peel off layers of your nails. Sure the damage will grow out, but you will be living with weak nails that will bend and break. Nails can be left so thin, they actually hurt. Remove your gel polish or fake nails the right way!

It's easy but a little time consuming and messy too. Most of us do have that time to get the job done since we are on #stayhome lockdown!!!
gel manicure removal
Think of it as good opportunity to give your nails some much needed hydrating recovery time until the salons to reopen. Gel and acrylic can be very dehydrating for the nails. Plus, incorrect removal results in thin, brittle, rough feeling nails. 

You probably already know basically how to do it if you have been getting gels or acrylics and have experienced the removal process. I'm here to reassure you on how to do it at home and give you a few helpful pointers to speed up the process and prevent damage to your nails.

You will need to do a soak off for gel polish, dip powder and artificial nail removal. Acetone is the go to product to remove anything from your nails! A non acetone or an acetone remover diluted with conditioners will not get the job done. 


100% acetone
So many stores are closed right now, it may be hard to find.  Most home supply stores such as Home Depot and Lowes are still open here in Pa. since they sell essential building supplies. They may carry acetone. Give your local store a call before you venture out into the COVID-19 world!!! 

You can always order 100% acetone from Amazon. Get it delivered right to your door or you don't have to leave your house. There really is no point to risking your health to remove gel from your nails!

This post contains Amazon links to help you get the beauty supplies you need delivered right to your door. When you use the links I provide for you, I earn a small amount at no cost to you. I truly thank you for using my links!😘

How to Remove Gel Polish or Dip Power


You will need:
100% acetone
A 100/180 grit nail file
An orangewood stick
Cotton balls or cotton pads
Aluminum foil cut or torn into ten 3 inch squares or gel polish removal foils
Cuticle oil
Paper towels
The key to easy gel polish and dip powder removal without damaging the nails is a long soak off time. Dip powder, some gel brands, or over cured gel polish can take up to 30 minutes to soften up.

Step 1. Rough it up

Use your 100/180 grit file to remove the shine from the surface of the gel polish or dip powder.

Step 2. Saturate the Cotton & Wrap
Saturate the cotton with 100% acetone. Apply the saturated cotton to 1 nail then wrap it with foil. Or saturate a gel polish remover pad and apply to one nail. Continue applying the cotton and foil to all of your nails.

Step 3. The Soak

Take your time. Leave the foil on your nails for 15 minutes. The acetone is softening and dissolving the product from your nails. The process works quicker when your hands are warm. You can cover your foiled hands with a dry warm towel from your dryer to speed things along. 

After the 15 minutes, remove the first foil that was applied. The product should look chunky, flaked and lifted. If it does not, put the foil back on and wait another 5 minutes.
Step 4. Scrape Off
When the product looks chunky, flaked and lifted, it is ready to be gently scraped off with the orangewood stick. You can also use a metal pusher but it is more likely to damage your nails leaving them with a rough uneven surface. 

Remove the first foil applied. Press and pull it off to remove the flaked up product. Use your orangewood stick to gently scrape any of the product still clinging to the nail. If it won't come off easily, reapply acetone saturated cotton and foil and move on to the next nail. 


Scrape from the cuticle area towards the free edge of the nail. The scrape off will make a mess. Do it over a paper towel for an easier cleanup. Scrape the nails one by one. Return to any nails that needed extra soaking time.  

Step 5. Recondition

Acetone strips all water and oil from the nails. Wash your hands after the soaking and scraping. Pat them dry and apply an oil to the nail and cuticle areas. Good old olive oil will do or use a conditioning nail oil product.  I like Orly Argan Cuticle Oil Drops or Cuccio Revitalizing Cuticle Oil. Massage the oil into the nail and cuticle areas. Wait an hour or so after reconditioning to apply nail strengthener and polish. 

How to Remove Fake Nails: Acrylic, Gel Nails & Nail Tips


You will need:
100% acetone
A 100/180 grit nail file
A 120/240 grit nail file
An orangewood stick
Nail clippers
Cotton balls or pads
A glass bowl that your fingertips will fit in
Cuticle oil
Paper towels

Step 1. Remove Polish & Clip

Remove regular nail polish and clip off the extended part of the artificial nail with nail clippers.

Step 2. Rough it up

Use a 100/180 grit file to remove the shine from the artificial nails or from the gel polish if you are wearing it on your artificial nails. 

Step 3. Soak Off

Fill a glass bowl with enough acetone to fit in the entire length of your nails. Soak the nails on one hand in the bowl of acetone for 10 minutes. The acrylic, gel or nail tip material will become soft and mushy. 

Remove your hand from the bowl then use an orangewood stick to scrape off the nail product. Scrape from the cuticle area towards the frees edge of the nail. 
Do it over a paper towel for an easier clean up.


It will not all come off at once. You will need to put the nails back in the bowl of acetone for another 10 minute soak and another scraping. Keep soaking and scraping until all of the nail product is removed.

Step 4. Smoothing
Your nails will need some smoothing and shaping since the extended artificial nail was clipped off. Use a 120/240 grit file to shape them. Use the fine grit side of the file to gently smooth the surface of the nails if needed.

Step 5. Recondition

Acetone strips all water and oil from the nails. Wash your hands after the soaking and scraping. Pat them dry and apply an oil to the nail and cuticle areas. Good old olive oil will do or use a conditioning nail oil product.  I like Orly Argan Cuticle Oil Drops or Cuccio Revitalizing Cuticle Oil. Massage the oil into the nail and cuticle areas. Wait an hour or so after reconditioning to apply nail strengthener and polish. 
The favorite nail polish brand at the salon is Zoya. It wears very well on natural nails, is 10 free, and they have beautiful colors. They also make the Naked Manicure System to help improve the condition of your nails and make them look pretty. It's easy to apply at home. The kit contains a hydrating base coat, two sheer colors and a glossy top coat. I highly recommend it!
zoya naked manicure kit

Click here to view my Zoya Polish Guide to their nail polish colors, swatches and collections.

Your nails will most likely be a bit weak and brittle after you have removed your gel polish, dip powder or artificial nails. I have a lot of remedies to help you deal with your bare nails until you can get back to the salon in my post on brittle nails. 

Read How to Strengthen Brittle Nails


This too shall pass as the saying goes. It's not going to be an easy time but we will get through it. I hope this post helps you with your nails until the salons are up and running again. 



You may be needing help with your hair color, brows and lash extensions right now too! I did a post dedicated to dealing with those issues at home.

Read Beauty Hacks to try during the temporary salon closures

Stay safe.   Stay healthy.   Be beautiful.
living the at home life video
xo
Licensed Cosmetologist, Esthetician, Makeup Artist, Create Spirit

 Wedding, special occasion or everyday makeup and skin care services available in the Philadelphia, Pa. area. Visit my makeup page for more information!

Thanks for using my amazon links💋
As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases at no cost to you. That keeps my blog running and supports the care of animals in need!😸

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Quick and Easy One Bowl Chocolate Cake Recipe with Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

There are times when we need chocolate. Chocolate cake.

I'm talking about rich, decedent, satisfying chocolate cake with chocolate buttercream frosting! 

We are living one of those times we need cake. Practicing social distancing and staying at home due to the Corona Virus requires cake!
slice of one bowl chocolate cake
I know, I always preach healthy eating, but you all know I do indulge in yummy sweets, in moderation of course. Besides, cocoa is full of antioxidant flavanoids, is anti inflammatory and triggers feel good endorphins, so chocolate cake is practically a health food!

This is one of those times when we need the comfort of chocolate with all it's endorphin inducing power! 


There is an easy chocolate cake I have been making for years whenever the kids asked for a dessert or I needed to make something quick. I would make this chocolate cake as a one layer round cake with a sprinkle of powdered sugar. It was quick. It was easy. It was better than eating a store bought cake loaded with preservatives! 
cakes cooling in pans
The recipe I will show you will make a 2 layer cake. It can be made in two 8" round pans, two 9" round pans or one 9" x 13" pan

You only need one mixing bowl to whip up this chocolate cake.  Measure your ingredients and dump them in! I always use the large bowl that goes with my
 KitchenAid Stand mixer. It makes life so much easier. If you don't have a stand mixer, you can get one Amazon!

The ingredients are typical ingredients you may already have in the house.
one bowl chocolate cake ingredients
You can use whatever kind of milk you like in this recipe. It can be cow's milk in 1%, 2% or whole milk, soy milk, almond milk, coconut milk, oat milk, etc. I wouldn't use skim milk though. I don't think skim it would create a satisfying cake. 

I use unbleached all purpose flour in this recipe. The flour doesn't need to be sifted. Just fluff it up with a fork before spooning it into a measuring cup. 


I have a gluten free version for my gluten free friends. 

Gluten Free Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Buttercream and Raspberries



My daughter ordered these fun colorful measuring cups from Amazon.
colorful measuring cups
She said my old Tupperware measuring cups smell like onions.  I have to admit, these are much cuter than my old set of measuring cups and they are made of earth friendly bamboo.

Read my review on these Architec Purleast Ecosmart Measuring Cups 

Besides greasing and flouring the pans, I always cut parchment paper to fit the bottom of the pan so the cakes come out perfectly without sticking to the pan. It's a disaster when the cake sticks and breaks apart!

eaten slice of one bowl chocolate cake
If you are using a 9" x 13" pan, you may want to leave the cake in the pan as an easy informal cake for the family. In that case, no parchment is needed in the bottom of the pan.

I have to show you one of my favorite kitchen gadgets. It's a shot glass to measure small amounts of liquid. It's perfect for measuring vanilla extract. I use it all the time!

measuring shot glass
Get it on Amazon!

I did a youtube video so you can see all the details to making this recipe!
one bowl chocolate cake video link
Click here to watch my Quick & Easy One Bowl Chocolate Cake Recipe video on youtube


slice of one bowl chocolate cake eaten
Is your mouth watering yet? Mine is!!!

Okay, without further ado, here is the recipe for the chocolate cake followed by the chocolate buttercream recipe!

one bowl chocolate cake
Quick and Easy One Bowl Chocolate Cake
Prep: 20 minutes, Bake: 30-35 minutes,  Servings: 12-16

This is a chocolate cake I whip up when we need cake in a hurry! It is based on a recipe I saw years ago in a magazine. No sifting. One bowl. Easy! You can bake it as a sheet a cake in a 9" x 13" pan or make it a layer cake in two 8" or 9" pans.

2 cups flour
1 ½ cups sugar
1 cup cocoa (unsweetened)
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 ½ cups milk of your choice (cow’s milk, almond milk, soy milk, etc.)
2/3 cup oil, neutral tasting oil such as canola
2 ½ teaspoons vanilla
2 eggs

Pre heat your oven to 350° F. Grease and flour your 9" x 13" or 2 round pans, either 8” or 9”. Then, add parchment paper cut to fit the bottom of the pans for perfect cake removal.

In a large mixing bowl add flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Stir to blend.

Add milk, oil and vanilla. Mix on low speed to combine the ingredients. Then, beat for 2 minutes on medium speed.

Add one egg and mix on low till blended. Add the second egg then beat for 2 minutes on medium speed.

Pour into your prepared pans.

Bake for 30-35 minutes. Bake until a wooden toothpick come out clean. Clean means there is no raw batter sticking on the toothpick.

Cool in the pans on wire racks for 10 minutes. Remove cake from pans (or leave in the 9" x 13" pan if desired). Allow the cakes to cool completely on the wire racks.

Finish with frosting or sprinkle with powdered sugar.   

Now you will need the frosting (aka icing) recipe for the delicious One Bowl Chocolate Buttercream! 

one bowl chocolate buttercream frosting
One Bowl Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
Prep: about 10 minutes

This chocolate frosting makes the one bowl chocolate cake super rich and chocolaty! Reduce the cocoa to 1/3 cup for a lighter chocolate flavor if you choose. This recipe makes about 2 cups of frosting. I use one cup for the middle between the two layers of cake and one cup for the top of the cake.

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
½ cup cocoa (unsweetened)
2 ½ cups confectioner’s sugar
Dash or two of salt
1/3 cup milk of your choice (cow’s milk, almond milk, soy milk, etc)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Add the butter to the mixing bowl and beat till creamy.

Add ½ of the cocoa powder and a bit of milk. Mix on low speed until blended. Add the other ½ of cocoa power and another splash of milk. Mix on low until blended.

Add 1/3 of confectioner’s sugar and a bit of milk. Mix on low until blended. Add another 1/3 of confectioner’s sugar and a bit of milk. Mix on low until blended. Add last 1/3 of confectioner’s sugar and the rest the of milk. Mix until blended. More milk can be added if frosting seems too thick.

Add vanilla extract and beat on high speed for about 5 minutes until frosting is fluffy.


It's quick, easy and delicious!!! 

I hope you enjoy this cake and frosting as much as we do!

Follow me on facebook, instagram, and youtube for links to the Juicy Beauty Word to see what I'm making and get healthy beauty tips. 

living the at home life video
Stay healthy and safe!
xo
Licensed Cosmetologist, Esthetician, Makeup Artist, Create Spirit

 Wedding, special occasion or everyday makeup and skin care services available in the Philadelphia, Pa. area. Visit my makeup page for more information!

Thanks for using my amazon links💋
As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases at no cost to you. That keeps my blog running and supports the care of animals in need!😸