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Nota bene: I am an Independent Young Living Distributor, and this post talks about essential oils. You can follow all essential oils related posts here.

Now that you’re a Young Living member, which oils should you buy next? If you find yourself using any of the oils in the Premium Essential Oils Collection on a daily basis, I would go about replacing those first! I started by purchasing full sized bottles of grapefruit (not in the kit, but still a staple), lavender, lemon, and peppermint, and those are still the most used in my arsenal!

Young Living Oils Under $20 ::

Thankfully, there are plenty of useful Young Living oils that are reasonably priced under $20. Items marked with a [*] are among my favorites. I’ve included current (May 2016) pricing for both retail and wholesale.

Premium Collection Replacement Oils Under $20:

  1. Purification 15ml | $24.67 retail / $18.75 wholesale *
  2. R.C.™ 5ml $13.49 retail / 10.25 wholesale
  3. DiGize Vitality™ 5ml  $18.09 retail / $13.75 wholesale *
  4. Lemon Vitality™ 5ml $8.22 retail / $6.25 wholesale *
  5. Peppermint Vitality™ 5ml $13.16 retail / $10.00 wholesale *
  6. Thieves Vitality™ 5ml $19.08 retail / $14.50 wholesale *

What is Vitality™? Vitality™ is Young Living’s dietary oils collection. Vitality™ oils come in 5 ml bottles, and are all safe for consumption. If you are already familiar with Young Living, these are the same oils they’ve always been, just with different labels!

Vitality™ Oils Under $20:

  • Basil Vitality™ 5ml $14.14 retail / $10.75 wholesale
  • Bergamot Vitality™ 5ml $17.11 r / $13.00 w
  • Black Pepper Vitality™ 5ml $24.67 / $18.75
  • Celery Seed Vitality™ 5ml $15.46 / $11.75
  • Citrus Fresh Vitality™ 5ml $9.54 / $7.25 *
  • Clove Vitality™ 5ml $9.54 / $7.25
  • Dill Vitality™ 5ml $20.72 / $15.75
  • Endoflex Vitality™ 5ml $16.45 / $12.50 *
  • Ginger Vitality™ 5ml $17.43 / $13.25
  • Grapefruit Vitality™ 5ml $9.87 / $7.50 *
  • Jade Lemon Vitality™ 5ml $14.14 / $10.75
  • Lavender Vitality™ 5ml $15.46 / $11.75 *
  • Lemongrass Vitality™ 5ml $8.22 / 6.25 *
  • Lime Vitality™ 5ml $7.57 / $5.75 *
  • Orange Vitality™ 5ml $7.89 / $6.00 *
  • Oregano Vitality™ 5ml  $15.46 / $11.75
  • Rosemary Vitality™ 5ml $9.87 / $7.50
  • Spearmint Vitality™ 5ml $14.14 / $10.75
  • Tangerine Vitality™ 5ml $9.87 / $7.50 *
  • Thyme Vitality™ 5ml $18.75 / $14.25

Oil Singles Under $20:

  • Black Pepper 5ml $24.67 retail / $18.75 wholesale
  • Cedarwood 15 ml $14.80 r / $11.25 w *
  • Citronella 15ml $25.66 / $19.50
  • Clove 15ml $20.07 / $15.25
  • Cypress 15ml $25.33 / $19.25
  • Dill 5ml $20.72 / $15.75
  • Eucalyptus Blue 5ml $19.74 / $15.00
  • Eucalyptus Globulus 15ml $19.08 / $14.50
  • Eucalyptus Radiata 15ml $24.34 / $18.50
  • Fennel 15ml $22.70 / $17.25
  • Geranium 5ml $24.67 / $18.75
  • Ginger 5ml $17.43 / $13.25
  • Goldenrod 5ml $20.07 / $15.25
  • Grapefruit 15ml $22.04 / $16.75 *
  • Jade Lemon 5ml $14.14 / $10.75
  • Lemon 15ml $14.80 / $11.25 *
  • Lemongrass 15ml $14.80 / $11.25 *
  • Lime 15ml $16.12 / $12.25 *
  • Nutmeg 5ml $17.11 / $13.00
  • Orange 15ml $14.14 / $10.75 *
  • Palmarosa 15ml $25.99 / $19.75
  • Pine 15ml $19.74 / $15.00
  • Rosemary 15ml $20.39 / $15.50 *
  • Spearmint 5ml $14.14 / $10.75
  • Tangerine 15ml $21.05 / $16.00 *
  • Wintergreen 15ml $23.36 / $17.75 *

Oil Blends Under $20

  • Christmas Spirit™ 5ml $13.49 retail / $10.25 wholesale
  • Citrus Fresh™ 15ml $20.07 r / $15.25 w *
  • Envision™ 5ml $24.67 / $18.75 *
  • Grounding™ 5ml $23.36 / $17.75 *
  • Melrose™ 15ml $25.99 / $19.75
  • Sacred Mountain™ 5ml $20.39 / $15.50 
  • Taste of Italy™ 5ml $25.00 / $19.00

Read more about Young Living membership here. I’m always happy to answer any questions you might have!

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The post below is written and photographed by my friend, Dani, the same friend who inspired this post on going cruelty free. 

This recipe features Young Living lavender oil to flavor the frosting. If you don’t have Young Living oils, be sure to only use essential oils that are safe for internal use. Read your labels! Favor oils made specifically for baking will work, as well. For this recipe, you can also gently simmer dried lavender buds in milk. Strain, and allow the milk to cool before using in the frosting. Sprinkle dried lavender on top of the frosted cupcakes.

For convenience sake, she uses a boxed mix here. Feel free to use a yellow cake mix or recipe of your choosing.

Happy spring!


Nothing says Easter like yellow cupcakes with vanilla-lavender frosting! Well to be fair, any day is a great day to have yellow cupcakes with vanilla-lavender frosting. These are delicious!

For the cupcakes you will need:

  • 1 box cake mix (used Pillsbury Moist Supreme Classic Yellow)
  • 1 cup of warm water
  • ½ cup of melted butter
  • 3 eggs

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Combine box cake mix, warm water, melted butter, eggs, and mix. I always let the batter sit for about 5 minutes before I pour into the cupcake wrappers. Once you have poured the batter into the wrappers, make sure to bang the pan on the counter. This helps to get the air bubbles out, so the batter bakes more evenly. Bake for 20 minutes. Cool completely before frosting.

For the frosting you will need:

  • 2 cups of confectioners sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of softened butter
  • 2 tablespoons of milk
  • ½ teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 3 drops of Young Living Lavender essential oil

(makes about one cup)

Combine confectioners sugar, softened butter, milk, vanilla extract, and mix until smooth. Then add the lavender oil, one drop at a time, to taste.


Thanks, Dani!

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Updated Everyday Essential Oils Routine ::

This post has been updated (July 2015) to better reflect my current lifestyle. It was originally published August 2014.

Essential oils  have always been a side-interest of mine, but after some recent exploration, it’s safe to say that I’ve become totally hooked. I think a lot of that has to do with easy access to high quality products that I like to think my aging hippie, lavender-loving mother would have been on board with, even today. I think I probably have her to thank for my interest in all-natural, DIY skincare products and herbal remedies. Just so we’re clear, though, I’m not recommending anyone entirely replaces actual medicine with essential oils. Science and Mother Nature can be partners. You do what’s right for you. Find your balance.

Every day is obviously a little different, but this will highlight some common daily essential oil uses. Some days I use a wider variety of oils, and some days I don’t use any at all! I use my oils primarily for aromatherapy and skincare, and these are the two uses I personally benefit the most from. I use a few different brands, though the majority of my oils are currently from Young Living.

I hope that sharing my essential oils routine with you may shake some common misconceptions about folks who use oils. You don’t have to fit  a particular mold to benefit, and you can work essential oils into your daily routine, no matter your lifestyle.


After I shower, I apply a homemade facial serum* made with carrot seed, frankincense, lavender, and rose geranium oils to my face. Peppermint oil mixed with jojoba oil for a base goes on the soles of my feet for a bit of a pick-me-up.

*If I plan on going outside, especially in the summer, I still apply a moisturizer containing sunscreen to my face!

Updated Everyday Essential Oils Routine ::

Updated Everyday Essential Oils Routine ::

Lemon and grapefruit oils (a few drops each) go into a metal or glass water bottle. Sometimes I add a little orange or lime, also. Water first, then coffee (coffee coffee). Read your labels, and use your best judgement. Only consume oils that are labelled as safe to do so. Young Living now offers the Vitality™ collection, which includes oils safe for consumption. Look for the white labels and the 5mL size!

Updated Everyday Essential Oils Routine ::

If I’m painting, drawing, or working from  my laptop, I’ll diffuse Young Living’s En-R-Gee™, which is a blend of rosemary, juniper, lemongrass, nutmeg, Idaho balsam fir, clove, and black pepper. It helps me stay focused and energized. I use this very basic diffuser on a daily basis, and have had good luck with it. Young Living offers a wide range of diffusers, as well.


I keep YL’s Stress Away (a blend of copaiba, lime, cedarwood, ocotea, lavender, and vanilla absolute) roll-on in my purse, and it’s a blend I find myself using on a regular basis to relieve tension and nervousness.


Sometimes I like a drop or two of lemon and peppermint oils in my evening chamomile tea. The lemon is delicious, and peppermint can help aid in digestion.

I diffuse either lavender or YL’s Peace & Calming® (currently available in a reworked formulation as  Peace & Calming II™ ) blend at night. I find the scent of lavender very soothing, and it definitely helps combat my sleeplessness. Peace & Calming is more effective for me when I need to wind down during the day or late in the evening, before I’m in bed. For some reason, it’s distracting when I’m actually trying to sleep.

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At the time of writing this original post, I was an active Young Living wholesale member. While I definitely still stand by the quality of the oils and blends themselves (they’re great!), I don’t always buy into YL lifestyle products. I highly recommend doing your own brand research, and using the products that are right for you! And what’s right for you may change over time, as it has for me. That’s cool, too! I am happy to answer any questions you might have!


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For many years, my toenails have been cracked and brittle. Whether it’s a nutritional deficiency or simply due to often wearing poor footwear, I’m not sure. I’ve never actually consulted a healthcare professional about it, because otherwise, my feet are in good shape! A month or so ago,  I ran into a recipe for a serum that looked like it had some potential. The original recipe combined frankincense, lemon, myrrh, and wintergreen essential oils with wheatgerm oil. I don’t have myrrh on hand (and likely never will), so I whipped something up without it.

While this has yet to heal the large split on my big right toe (and likely will not), I have noticed an improvement in appearance of new nail growth, and the skin around my nails. I will admit that I’m actually pretty terrible at remembering to apply this twice a day. I get in one good application at night, before bed, but I think diligence is the key with this one. I also use this serum on my fingernails, in between polish applications. It helps with dry skin and peeling, and makes up for some of the damage caused by nail polish remover. And yes, yes, I will soon be switching to a natural one! It’s the last remaining vestiges of toxicity in my bath and beauty arsenal.

Generally speaking, my skin and nails are much happier in the summer months. I will definitely be breaking this out more often come November.

nail serum with Young Living essential oils //

You will  need:

  • dark colored glass bottle

I still have these 4oz bottles with glass droppers on hand, but I’m looking into purchasing some smaller ones. When working in small numbers, four ounce bottles are a little unmanageable.

Dark colored glass blocks light, and with essential oils that’s a good thing! I would not recommend using plastic, but if you do, be sure only to use it for this project. Do not reuse the bottle for other applications!

  • vitamin E or wheatgerm oil (I use this E oil blend that uses wheat germ as a base; buy wheat germ oil here, or any natural foods store.)

Wheat germ oil is rich in vitamin E, which can increase blood circulation, and help stimulate new cell growth.

The following essential oils:

  • frankincense (promotes regeneration of skin cells)
  • lemon (antiseptic, restores shine)
  • wintergreen (antiseptic)
  • lavender optional

nail serum with Young Living essential oils //

I used Young Living essential oils because I love the the quality, however feel free to use any therapeutic grade oils you prefer. This is being absorbed through your skin, so be sure to educate yourself!

Use the following ratio as a guide to fill the bottle of your choosing:

  • E oil 4 drops
  • lemon 3 drops
  • frankincense 2 drops
  • wintergreen 1 drop
  • lavender 1 drop (optional)

nail serum with Young Living essential oils //

Remember, essential oils are potent and a little goes a long way! I usually only make a small amount of this at a time, but the vitamin e does extend the shelf life. Feel free to make as large a batch as you think you’ll need.

Shake well before each use. Apply 1-2 drops to each nail, twice a day. Massage into your nails and cuticles.

I totally shouldn’t have to say this, but essential oils are not a magical cure all. Please see your doctor or dermatologist with any serious skin health concerns.

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Carrier Oils ::

This post is in relation to the use of essential oils in cosmetic and therapeutic skin care. While this post features many blends from Young Living, I still do use a variety of essential oil brands.

When using essential oils internally and topically, you usually need to use a carrier oil. This oil extends the life of pricier essential oils, and makes application (or consumption) easier and safer. Generally speaking, a good ratio is 4-5 drops of carrier for 1-2 drops of essential oil.  I realize that doesn’t seem like much, but therapeutic grade oils are strong; a little goes a long way! Always be sure to read your labels. Any high quality oil (including Young Living) will tell you whether or not it’s safe to use any particular oil straight. If you have sensitive skin, you will want to always use a carrier when applying essential oils. 

Please don’t take to heart anything you see on the internet that says a skin irritation is a sign of “detox.” People really seem to like to use this word where it doesn’t belong. If you experience itching, irritation, or redness, discontinue use immediately. Be kind to yourself, and use your best judgement. 

There are many carriers you can use; it really depends on the application. This post will go over some common carrier oils, with examples of how I use them. 

My top three carrier oils are olive (buy here), jojoba (buy here), and coconut (buy here). These oils are easy to find, and are useful for a wide variety of applications around the home. I also keep almond oil (here) and a vitamin E oil blend (here) on hand for skincare purposes.

Olive oil is a heavier oil that does not absorb quickly. I find that it’s good in small doses, and works well as a cleanser. I always have it in my kitchen, so it’s a good oil to use in a pinch.


  • Many people who take essential oils orally use olive oil as a carrier. I personally have no experience, but 1 or 2 drops of a chosen oil can be added to a capsule, and diluted with olive oil or vegetable oil blend. Make sure to always, always check labels before you do this.
  • I like using olive oil as a heavy duty moisturizer for my feet before putting on socks. My favorite oils to use for this are lavender, peppermint, and Valor (YL blend).
  • Olive oil blended with corn flour or almond flour and a drop of essential oil (I like lavender; frankincense is also good for skincare) makes for a nice facial scrub. Use in the shower and let the steam open your pores. Rinse gently with warm water and a soft washcloth.

Jojoba oil is my go-to carrier when it comes to everyday essential oil application. It is lightweight and easily absorbed by our skin, which makes it perfect for facial care. I keep a small bottle of jojoba with my essential oil stash for easy use. Grapeseed is a similar lightweight oil, I simply prefer jojoba. Either oil is a good starting point.


I use coconut oil for oral care and skin that needs a little more hydration. Coconut oil is a great multipurpose oil to have around. This oil can cause some drying or irritation on ultra-sensitive skin, so you may want to do a small patch test before use.


  • For a healing mouth rinse, use two tablespoons of coconut oil and 1 or 2 drops of Thieves (YL blend). Swish for as long as you like; I usually do this in the shower. Follow with a gentle, warm water tooth-brushing.
  • I use coconut oil with a drop of lavender oil to heal cracked lips and dry, rough patches on my feet.

In addition to the three oils above, I keep a bottle of almond oil and a smaller bottle of vitamin E oil blend in my pantry. Almond oil is a really wonderful oil for massage purposes, and as an addition to homemade skincare products. Vitamin E is nourishing for the skin, and can also be used in homemade products to extend the shelf life.


  • Almond oil can be used in any (non-facial) application you would use jojoba oil. I love blending it with peppermint oil for an after work (or workout) leg massage. Almond oil takes a little bit longer to absorb than either jojoba or grapeseed.
  • Many vitamin E oil blends can be taken internally in combination with essential oils (see method mentioned above).
  • I use a combination of 4 drops vitamin E oil (which is blended with wheat germ oil), 2 drops frankincense, 2 drops lemon, 1 drop wintergreen on my nails to help with cracking and peeling (on my toenails, especially). I blend the oils together, then apply with a cotton swab.
  • Add almond oil and vitamin E to a homemade moisturizer blend. I’m using a combination of shea butter, coconut oil, and almond oil blended with 3 drops each of peppermint, grapefruit, and a couple drops vitamin E!

If you have any questions, please feel free to leave a comment or get in touch with me!

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