Showing posts with label green-living. Show all posts
Showing posts with label green-living. Show all posts

Natural Daily Facial Scrub for All Skin Types

Almonds + oats + liquid= perfect soap alternative.
SOAP IS BAD FOR YOUR FACE.

I REPEAT, USING SOAP ON YOUR FACE IS REALLY BAD, MMM'KAY?

Why? It completely wipes out your pores (dirt and oil) which causes your face to work double time to replace the oils it actually needs. This causes breakouts, blotches, blemishes, and ultimately dry skin. It also turns your face into a potential bacteria breeding ground. GROSS.

I'm not the kind of girl who delivers bad news without a silver lining. I'm happy to announce that I have found a daily facial scrub to replace soap! Bonus: it's totally natural! The recipe is below. One batch will last you eight days.

What You Will Need
  • 1/2 cup of oats, finely ground
  • 1/2 cup of almonds, finely ground
  • Small dish or bowl
  • Coffee grinder or food processor
  • Liquid: water, witch hazel (for oily skin), or milk (for dry skin)
If you don't want to grind almonds or don't have a food processor or coffee grinder, almond meal flour can be purchased where gluten-free products are sold. An 8oz. package will cost around $8. I highly recommending investing in a coffee grinder if you plan on making this recipe or any homemade facial masks. It will cost you around $16 but is priceless in the headaches it will save you from when trying to turn oats to a fine powder using a blender or food processor. Plus grinding stuff is so fun!

Use a coffee grinder to turn oats to powder.
Creating Your Facial Scrub
  1. Blend1/2 cup of oats in your coffee grinder until powder.
  2. Pour oats into a resealable container.
  3. Blend 1/2 cup of almonds in your coffee grinder until powder.
  4. Pour almonds on top of oats in resealable container. Stir until well blended.

Using Your Facial Scrub
  1. Take 2 tablespoons of powder blend from the resealable container and put in a small bowl or palm of your hand.
  2. Add your choice of liquid to powder blend. Mix well.
    • The idea here is to lightly soak the oats. Your scrub should not be runny. 
    • Use water, Witch Hazel for oily skin, or milk for dry skin. I recommend using distilled water, not tap water.
  3. Using small, circular motions, massage the scrub gently from the bottom to the top. Start with your chin and end with your forehead. Avoid the eye area.
  4. Wash off after application with warm water. For a deeper cleanse, let the scrub dry for five minutes before washing off.
  5. Follow with a toner or moisturizer to restore your skin's balance quickly. I suggest this easy to make Thyme toner if you are acne-prone or using apple cider vinegar
    • To tone with apple cider vinegar: soak cotton round in water. Use an eyedropper to distribute no more than four (4) drops to the cotton round. Swipe entire face, avoiding eye area. 
Refreshed face all day, every day.
Use this scrub once a day, either in the morning or evening. Expect for your skin to feel clean and refreshed but not dried out. Using Witch Hazel will also have a cooling effect on the skin.

If you used almond meal flour (store bought), make sure to refrigerate the almond meal flour after opening. I'm keeping my scrub in the fridge, too, just to be safe.

That's it!

What do-it-yourself facial scrub or mask have you tried? How did it work? Let me know in the comments. Feel free to check out my recipe for a honey and oatmeal mask, too.

Thyme Acne-Fighting Toner

thyme acne toner with witch hazelI've struggled with acne my entire life. I've tried it all: Proactive, SkinID, countless over-the-counter creams, cleansers, and toners. Nothing has worked! Instead of moping, I've decided to take my skin destiny in my own hands and use Mother Nature to get a shining, clear face.

Below is a simple recipe to create a skin toner with Thyme. Total initial cost may be around $10, depending on where you shop.

Why Thyme? A study from the Society for General Microbiology shows that Thyme is more effective than prescription creams to treat blemishes caused by bacteria. It's nature's benzoyl peroxide. (Benzoyl peroxide is a popular ingredient in acne-fighting creams that is designed to dry up blemishes quickly.) 

LediaMedia's Thyme Acne-Fighting Toner

What you will need:
  • Dried thyme
  • Witch Hazel
  • Glass bottle or jar for storage
  • Cotton rounds or reusable facial pad
  • Eyedropper that fits bottle you choose (optional)
  • Funnel (optional, makes pouring easier)
  • Strainer (optional)
  
Where to find these items:
  • Dried thyme can be found online or at health food stores. I bought mine in bulk off Amazon. You can also grow your own and dry it!
  • Witch Hazel is available at most drug and grocery stores. Be sure to buy Witch Hazel without alcohol so it doesn't over dry your skin.
  • Glass bottles and jars can be found in the cosmetic section at health food stores, online, or at The Container Store.

Creating Your Thyme Witch Hazel Toner
Thyme, Witch Hazel, bottle for toner
Thyme to fight acne with nature
  1. Sterilize a small jar or bottle by boiling it in water for 10 minutes. Be sure to dry it completely.
  2. Once your bottle is dry, pour 1 tablespoon of dried thyme using a funnel to ensure you don't spill.
  3. Pour 4 tablespoons of alcohol-free Witch Hazel over the top of the Thyme. Shake well.
  4. Let toner steep for 20 minutes before use. The Witch Hazel will start to look like brown tea.
  5. Store in a cool, dark place for up to a month.
I recommend letting the Thyme steep in the Witch Hazel for a few days before straining it out to make sure you get the most cleansing power. If you don't have a strainer -- no worries! This is not required. Leaving the Thyme inside the bottle will not have a negative effect. 

How To Use Thyme Toner
  1. Pour a small amount of toner onto a cotton round or reusable facial pad and swipe all over your cleaned face. Avoid the area around your eyes.
  2. Use toner once a day. You can use it once in the morning and evening depending on the severity of your blemishes.
  3. You can use an eyedropper instead of pouring if that's your forte. Either way, make sure the cotton round is sufficiently wet before application. Don't soak the cotton round but don't be stingy, either.

That's it! Pretty simple, right?

Please share any of your homemade toner recipes in the comments below. Special thanks to Crunchy Betty for this recipe! 

Hair Fixes from the Medicine Cabinet

I always feel like MacGyver when I find a new use for a household item. The more common the item is, the more of a 'why didn't I think of this before' the moment becomes.

That being said... 

I'm back with more hair fixes using items you would find in your medicine cabinet. What's an added bonus of this list? You most likely have all of these items already! Let's get started, shall we? 

LediaMedia's Hair Fixes from the Medicine Cabinet

What You'll Need
  • Old sunscreen
  • Lip balm
  • Ibuprofen
  • Spray starch
  • Wine corks
  • Toothbrush 

How to Use These Medicine Cabinet Items 

Old sunscreen
Used as: a frizz fighter
How to use: Rub a pea-sized dab of old sunscreen between your fingers and smooth around the hairline to tame flyaways.

Lip balm
Used as: a hair wax to fight frizz along the hairline and add definition to your style
How to use: Rub a small amount of lip balm between your fingers and apply to the hairline.

Ibuprofen
Used to: soothe dry and itchy scalps
How to use: Crush a few ibuprofen pills into a powder and mix them into your shampoo.

Spray starch 
Used to: give your hair texture and major lift
How to use: Apply spray starch to dry roots and then blow-dry. 

Wine corks
Used as: mini hair rollers
How to use: Wash and towel dry your tresses, wind 1/2 inch sections of hair around the corks, and secure them to the scalp with bobby pins. Blast them with a hairdryer, then unravel and shake out for some serious summer waves.

Toothbrush 
Used for: hair style maintenance
How to use: Use it for back-combing of small, strategic areas of hair. Use it for root touch-ups. Spritz a little hairspray onto a toothbrush and glide it along your hairline for a clean, sleek pony-tail.  

What is one of your fave hair fixes? Please share in the comments below.

More Hair Fixes from the Kitchen

I had so much fun writing my post on homemade hair fixes that I decided to write another one! I've done some more research and reached out to my network for more ideas.

Thanks for the tweets in response to my post. My followers gave me some great new tricks to try. Below are four more hair fixes from the kitchen to try out.

Please continue to share your tricks with me on Twitter or in the comments below! Who knows, I might feature your tip in a future blog post.

LediaMedia's Hair Fixes from the Kitchen

What You'll Need
  • Sprite
  • Sweet 'N Low
  • Vegetable juice
  • Liquid dish soap

How to Use Your Kitchen Items

Sprite
Used as: hairspray and hair texturizer
How to use: Run a small amount of Sprite through damp hair, paying close attention to the hairs' roots.

Sweet 'N Low
Used for: taking the sting out of hair dye
How to use: Mix one packet of Sweet 'N Low into your hair coloring solution before applying to prevent skin irritation. Most hair dyes are alkaline and the acids in sugar substitutes help neutralize the pH level.

Vegetable juice
Used to: remove the greenish tint left behind from chlorine after a summer swim
How to use: In the shower, massage a can of V8 into your hair as if you are lathering shampoo. The red pigments in the tomato juice will warm up any ashy or green discoloring.

Liquid dish soap
Used to: get rid of product build up in your hair
How to use:
Rub a dime-sized amount of dish soap into your hair and rinse. Since it contains heavy-duty detergents, make sure to follow with a hydrating deep conditioner. How do you know if you have too much build up? You can't generate a lather with your regular shampoo. Liquid dish soap is super-clarifying and removes all traces of build up.

What trick is missing from this list? Please share in the comments below.

Homemade All-Purpose Cleaner

I used to be a cleaning product hoarder. I had 10+ cans and bottles full of cleaners with a single purpose. Most would clean a bathroom or kitchen surface, but never both. I'm a busy woman and don't have time to switch back and forth!

Instead of crying about this first world problem, I did some research to find one awesome all-purpose cleaner. I wanted something I could use in the kitchen and bathroom. I asked my network for their go-to recipes and did some serious Googleing.

I believe I've found the magic solution! It was actually shared by my friend Jessica Cabiness on Twitter. I tweaked it a little bit and voila! Isn't being a connected domestic wizard awesome? 

LediaMedia's Homemade All-Purpose Cleaner

What You'll Need
  • 1 spray bottle
  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons baking soda
  • 10 drops of essential oil (lemon or peppermint)
  • Hot water
  • Funnel (optional)

Creating Your Homemade All-Purpose Cleaner
  1. Using a funnel, pour 2 tablespoons of baking soda into a spray bottle.
  2. Slowly pour 1 cup white vinegar into the spray bottle. This will cause a fizzing reaction so pour slowing and carefully!
  3. Add 10 drops of essential oil. Both lemon and peppermint smell great and have antibacterial and antifungal properties. 
  4. Fill rest of spray bottle with hot water.
  5. Shake until well mixed.
 
Using Your Homemade All-Purpose Cleaner
  1. Once mixed, spray cleaner onto counter tops, sinks, ovens, stoves, toilets, and floors. It will disinfect just about anything.
  2. Avoid mirrors and glass, as it will cause streaking and smears when wiped off.
Although the smell isn't the greatest, white vinegar is an organic disinfectant that is safe to use on all hard surfaces. It's great if you don't want to use harsh chemicals around food.

What I Learned
  • After the vinegar dries, the smell goes away.
  • White vinegar also acts as a deodorizer.

What do you use for an all-purpose cleaner? Please share in the comments below. While you're at it, try out my other recipes for homemade shower cleaner, Windex, and Drain-o.

Homemade Drain Declogger

I'm having so much fun making my own cleaning products that I've found another recipe to share with you! Hooray! Isn't being a domestic wizard awesome?

Using store-bought cleaners means introducing tons of chemicals into your environment. While these chemicals aren't fatally dangerous, they can be harmful to you and yours. Making your own is cost-effective and a healthier life choice.

In case you missed my previous posts ... Check out my recipe for a homemade shower cleaner; you can also make your own Windex! I explain how here.

Today I'll teach you how to make your own drain declogger! Let's get our Ms. Clean on, y'all. 

LediaMedia's Homemade Drain Declogger

What You'll Need
  • 1/2 cup baking soda
  • 1/2 cup table salt
  • Plastic baggie
  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • Boiling water
  • Funnel (optional)

Creating Your Homemade Drain Declogger
  1. Begin boiling a small pot of water. A few cups should suffice. You will use this later on.
  2. Pour 1/2 cup of baking soda and 1/2 cup of salt into a plastic baggie. Shake.

Using Your Homemade Drain Declogger
  1. Pour baking soda and salt mixture down clogged drain.
  2. Pour 1 cup of vinegar down clogged drain. This chemical reaction will cause bubbling and gurgling noises.
  3. Let vinegar work it's magic for 5-10 minutes. Add time depending on the severity of the clog.
  4. Once water has boiled, pour down drain slowly.
DO NOT TOUCH the pipes for at least 30 minutes under the sink. Boiling water is HOT and WILL BURN YOU.
What I Learned
  • Pour boiling water down the drain SLOWLY. I poured mine all at once and it was almost too much for the pipe to take.
  • You don't have to use all of the baking soda/salt mixture. I used too much and it caused a mini-explosion when I added the white vinegar. Don't get me wrong-- it was AWESOME -- but it scared the shit out of me.
  • You may have to repeat several times for tough clogs.

What tricks do you use when declogging a stopped up drain? Please share in the comments below.

Homemade Window and Glass Cleaner

I love making my own cleaning products. Not only are they cheaper to make instead of buy; homemade cleaning products are pet/kid safe and eco-friendly.

Being the cleaning product geek I am, I took it upon myself to test several different recipes in order to find the best DIY cleaning products.

I tend to use common household items so I can get the most bang for my buck. This is my second homemade recipe to share with you. The first was a homemade shower cleaner.

Let's get our Ms. Clean on, y'all.

LediaMedia's Homemade Glass and Window Cleaner

What You'll Need
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/8 cup white vinegar
  • 1/8 cup rubbing alcohol
  • 1/2 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 spray bottle
  • Funnel (optional)

Creating Your Homemade Glass and Window Cleaner
  1. Combine white vinegar, rubbing alcohol, water, and corn starch into spray bottle using a funnel for easy transfer.
  2. Shake well until all ingredients are mixed. It should have a milky appearance.

Using Your Homemade Glass and Window Cleaner
  1. Spray window and glass cleaner on mirrors, windows, and anything glass.
  2. Wipe clean using a circular motion.
  3. Be sure to shake before each use. The corn starch will settle at the bottom of the bottle.

What I learned
  • This cleaner doesn't drip and run. Okay, it ran a little bit, but not at the accelerated rate Windex seems to.
  • Great for a streak-free shine but may require one more 'coat' if the glass/mirror is really dirty.
  • Did you know: you can use newspaper to clean glass and windows if you are out of paper towels.

What do you use to clean mirrors and windows? Please share in the comments below. 

Homemade Shower Cleaner

Alright, I'm just going to come out and say it.

I love cleaning products. I love them.
Thinking about the day I first used my Dyson still makes me misty.

I love cleaning products but I hate the chemicals. It's hard to find pet friendly, eco-friendly, organic cleaning products that are worth the money. It's surprisingly easy to make them yourself.

Being the cleaning product geek I am, I took it upon myself to test several different recipes in order to find the best DIY cleaning products. My mission: use common household items that are pet and eco-friendly. Not all of my recipes are 100% organic, but I can guarantee you have everything you need to make them already at your disposal.

Let's get our Ms. Clean on, y'all.

LediaMedia's Homemade Shower Cleaner
LediaMedia Tested, Seal of Approval

What You'll Need
  • 6 oz white vinegar
  • 6 oz dish soap
  • 1 spray bottle
  • Funnel (optional)

Creating Your Homemade Shower Cleaner
  1. Heat 6 oz. white vinegar in microwave-safe dish until very warm. I recommend starting at 15 seconds.
  2. Pour 6 oz. of dish soap into spray bottle. Use a funnel to make this easier.
  3. Pour a small amount of heated white vinegar into a spray bottle. This will cause intense foaming action. Repeat until all vinegar is in the spray bottle.
  4. Shake well.
Please note: only heat the white vinegar the first time you mix the solution. Do not reheat after use.


How to Use Your Homemade Shower Cleaner
  1. Spray mixture anywhere in shower (tub basin, walls, shower curtain or wall, shower head, etc).
  2. Use a sponge to clean away dirt, grime, and soap build up.
  3. Rinse with hot water.
That's it! Simple, huh?

What I Learned
  • This smells fantastic! Seriously -- unicorn fantastic.
  • The solution is GREAT at removing soap scum. I was surprised at how thoroughly it cleaned the tub and walls.
  • It's safe to use while you are in the shower -- yes, that means you can shower and clean the shower at the same time.

What is one shower cleaner recipe that you've used? Please share in the comments below.

Natural Acne-Fighting Honey and Oat Facial Mask

A trip to my local drugstore for acne control products this morning caused a classic case of sticker shock. You want me to pay HOW MUCH for an oil prevention mask? Homey don't play that -- I'll figure out how to do this myself.

A few minutes and a few Google searches later, I learned the following:
  1. Oatmeal is absorbent and perfect for oil removal. When applied to the skin, excessive oil gets sucked straight from pores.
  2. Oatmeal is a natural, gentle exfoliant.
  3. Oatmeal can be used to reduce skin redness.
  4. Honey is a natural anti-biotic and moisturizer.
Combining these two ingredients into a mask will leave skin glowing and fresh. It should also help fight acne and reduce redness. Did you know that honey is an excellent treatment for acne? It removes bacteria that accumulates on your skin.

LediaMedia's Acne-Fighting Honey and Oat Facial Mask

What you'll need:
  • 1/2 cup of oats
  • 3/4 cup of hot water
  • 2 teaspoons of honey
  • 1 mixing bowl
  • 1 coffee grinder, blender, or food processor

Creating Your Honey and Oat Facial Mask
  1. Grind 1/2 cup of oats in a blend, food processor, or coffee grinder. I highly recommend using a coffee grinder; blenders and food processors may not get the oatmeal fine enough. You want the oats to be as close to powder as possible. Why? It makes application easier.
  2. Pour ground oats into a mixing bowl and add 3/4 cup of hot water.
  3. Mix oats and water until texture is gooey. Add more water as needed. I made the mistake of not adding more water and the mask was hard to spread across my face.
  4. Once mask is gooey, add 2 teaspoons of honey. Mix thoroughly until honey is dissolved.

How to Use Your Honey and Oat Facial Mask

  1. Apply mask to your face using small, circular motions to increase exfoliation. Start at your chin and work your way up to your forehead.
  2. Let mask dry for 10-20 minutes. The thicker the mask, the longer the dry time. You will know your mask is dry when it becomes hard on your face.
  3. Rinse mask off using warm water. Towel pat dry.
The mask should not dry out your face; in fact, honey has been used for centuries for moisturizing, protecting, and rejuvenating.


What I learned
  • Applying the mask to my face was somewhat problematic because it wasn't gooey. Don't be like me! Add more water!
  • Immediately after application my face started to tingle. It was unexpected and surprising. 

I hope you have as much fun making and applying this mask as I did.

What masks have you made and tried at home? Share your at-home spa recipes in the comments below.

Hair Fixes from the Kitchen

Big hair, big fun.
Being a hippie at heart in these modern times, to me at least, means finding as many uses for the things I buy as possible. I absolutely dig green cleaning products and beauty solutions that are good to Mother Earth (and my pocketbook).

Here are 5 eco and wallet-friendly hair fixes for you to try using items found in your kitchen. The best part about this list? You may have all of these items in your casa already!

Say lay lay to bad hair days! Sounds rad, right? Let's get started.

LediaMedia's Hair Fixes from the Kitchen 

What You'll Need
  • Orange juice
  • Lemon juice
  • Honey
  • Olive Oil
  • Gelatin
  • Flour

How To Use Your Kitchen Items

Orange and lemon juice
Used as: natural highlight booster
How to use: Spritz your hair with a mixture of orange and lemon juice before heading out in the sun. It leaves your hair with warmer, more golden highlights when mixed.

Honey
Used as: natural hair gel
How to use: Dissolve 1 tsp of honey (or agave nectar) into 1/2 cup of water, pour it into a spray bottle, then mist it over your hair.

Olive oil
Used for: removing excess glue left behind from extensions
How to use: All you have to do is smooth a few drops of it over the tracks of the extensions and let it soak for 15 to 20 minutes. The glue will be gone when you rinse it out! 

Gelatin
Used as: protein treatment for fighting split ends
How to use: Dissolve a packet of clear gelatine into hot water. Massage the warm solution through your hair and leave it in for 30 minutes. Rinse and say hello to stronger hair! Gelatine can also be used to make DIY pore strips.

Flour
Used as: a dry shampoo
How to use: If you don't have time to wash your locks, sprinkle some flour on your roots, let it sop up oil for ten seconds, then dust away the excess with a makeup brush.


What hair fix is missing from this list? Please share in the comments below!

Garlic Lover's Hummus Recipe

I didn't try hummus until I was in college. Kids, don't make the same mistake I did! Eat hummus! It's delicious!

Hummus can be a tad pricey when purchased pre-made. Below is my recipe for Garlic Lover's Hummus. As the name suggests, it's got enough garlic to keep Edward Cullen at bay permanently.

The overall cost of making your own hummus is pretty low. Once you've purchased all the ingredients, it will cost a little over $2 to make per batch (if that). It's also vegan friendly and really good for you.

LediaMedia's Garlic Lover's Hummus Recipe

What you need:
  • 1 15-ounce can of chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
  • 4-6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/3 cup Tahini 
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 6 tablespoons water
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 food processor
  • Olive oil
  • Pita bread or crackers

How To Make Leah's Garlic Lover's Hummus
  1. Drain can of chickpeas and pour into food processor.
  2. Add 1 teaspoon onion powder and 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder. 
  3. Add minced garlic, 1/2 cup tahini, 1/4 lemon juice, and 6 tablespoons of water.
  4. Mix in food processor until creamy.
  5. Scoop hummus into a reusable container and chill in refrigerator. 

How To Serve Leah's Garlic Lover's Hummus
  1. Once hummus is chilled (can take four hours or more), remove from refridgerator and put into serving bowl.
  2. Drizzle olive oil on top.
  3. Serve with pita bread or crackers.

Three Different Ways to Heat Pita Bread
  1. Preheat oven (or toaster oven) to 350 degrees. Wrap several stacked pita breads in aluminum foil. Heat for 10 to 12 minutes or until warmed through.
  2. Place pita bread on a microwave-safe plate and microwave on high for 10 to 20 seconds.
  3. Brush both sides of a pita bread with olive oil or butter and place into an ungreased skillet over medium high heat for 10 seconds. Flip the bread with the tongs and cook on the reverse side for another 10 seconds or until the bread becomes soft and warm.
 A few tips:
  • If the hummus texture isn't creamy enough for you add another tablespoon of water as needed.
  • I use pre-minced garlic which is a sin but makes it so much easier. One 1/2 tablespoon of pre-minced garlic equals one clove.
  • You can make hummus up to two days in advance and it has a shelf-life of four to five days.

How do you like your hummus? Share in the comments below.

    DIY Biore Pore Strips Mask

    Peeling off my gelatin skin is fun and gross at the same time.
    I'm not exactly the girliest of girls but every once and awhile I like to pamper myself in the comfort of my apartment and sweatpants.

    I recently Stumbled Upon an easy at-home recipe for pore strips.

    For those of you just joining us, Biore Pore Strips are those white cotton things that are around eight bucks a pop that one can buy at the grocery store to clean out one's pores. You wet them, apply them to your nose (or chin or forehead) for ten, fifteen minutes, then rip them off.

    Oh those? I love those! Being the gal on a budget I am, I was willing to spend $1.89 and experiment. Two dollars seems like a small price to pay for clean pores and baby-soft skin.

    LediaMedia's DIY Biore Pore Strips Mask

    What You'll Need
    • 1 Tablespoon of unflavored gelatin
    • 2 Tablespoons of milk (any kind will work)
    • 1 old make-up brush or popsicle stick to spread the mask on your face
    For obvious reasons clear gelatin is a must. No dyed faces, you hear me? Remember to start with a clean face for best results.

    How to Make Your Own Biore Pore Strips Mask
    1. Combine gelatin and milk into a microwave-safe dish.
    2. Mix until gelatin and milk are a paste. The mixture will have a chunky consistency.
    3. Microwave mixture for 10 to 15 seconds.
    4. Remove from microwave and test temperature on your wrist or arm. The skin on your face is the most sensitive on your body so you don't want to burn it.
    The mask will get creamier as it 'cooks' and should be applied immediately because it dries FAST.  I nuked mine for 15 seconds and had to let it cool for a tick.


    How to Use Your Biore Pore Strips Mask
    1. Use an old makeup brush or Popsicle stick to apply mask generously to entire face. Don't be afraid to really slather it on. Remember that it dries uber fast so work quickly.
    2. Let mask dry for 15+ minutes. You will know its dry when it feels like your face is going to fall off; the skin should be so tight that it hurts to talk. Beauty is pain so suck it up, sistas.
    3. When you are sure the mask completely dry, start peeling. Continue peeling, peeling, peeling. Peel even more until there is no mask left on that beautiful face of yours.
    4. Admire your fresh skin in the mirror. Voila, your pores are clean and your face feels like velvet!

    What I learned
    • Gelatin drying on my face is ticklish. Really, really ticklish.
    • It's better to use it all than not enough. I used the mixture sparingly and regretted it during the peeling stage. I didn't have enough to peel off in some areas and it was more of a scraping than a peeling.
    • Avoid your eyebrows and hairline. Gelatin is unforgiving and will rip out your hair.
    • Don't rush -- wait until it's completely, and I do mean completely, dry before you start to peel. Goop under your nails isn't going to clean out anything.

    Happy pore cleansing! 

    Makeup Tricks From a Former Beauty Advisor

    One of the many jobs I've held was working for a cosmetic company.  I was always flabbergasted at the price women in particular were willing to pay for lipstick, eyeshadow, blush, and foundation.  Meeting my sales goal was not as important to me as ensuring my customer got the best deal; why pay through the nose when there is no need?

    Here's a few things I shared with my clients.  Maybe you knew this already, maybe you didn't.

    1. The only cosmetic to really spend money on is your foundation.

    Going to a department store to have your color matched perfectly will cost you -- but it's worth it.  Drugstore brands cannot offer the same coverage or color matching that most department store shades can.

    You should also 'get your color' done twice a year: your skin gets darker in the summer and lighter in the winter.

    2. Your natural shade of foundation may be lighter than you want.  Don't panic -- there is bronzer!

    Bronzer is my favorite cosmetic in the entire world.  A little bit makes me sun-kissed.  A little more transforms me into a Brazilian goddess.

    Many people are concerned their face is too pale when using their natural shade of foundation and often buy darker shades.  It looks better if you stick with what your momma gave ya and throw bronzer on before leaving the house.  Trust.

    3. There is almost no difference between drugstore brand lipstick, eye shadow, blush, mascara, and eyeliner.

    Why spend more money for basically the same thing?


    Other tips
    • Use cold cream to remove makeup before you go to sleep.  It's around $5.00 a jar.
    • Another alternative: CRISCO.  Yes, this sounds gross, but many women swear by it.  My grandma had perfect skin and you bet her secret was Crisco.
    • Witch hazel is an excellent toner.
    • There is no way to erase wrinkles naturally; the creams you buy from stores will only reduce the look of wrinkles over time.
    • Caster oil (unscented) is the perfect before-bed eye cream.
    • Contact lens solution doubles as eye makeup remover!
    • Spritz your face with non-aersol hairspray to keep your face in place all day/night long.
     
    Baby powder is a jack of all trades.
    • Brand new heels?  Make the breaking-in process a thousand times less painful by putting baby powder in the shoe; you will stretch it out and not feel a thing! 
    • Don't have time to wash your tresses?  Throw some baby powder on your roots to soak up any excess oil.  No one will ever know!
    • Combing baby powder through your hair before going out will keep your hair from becoming stringy; be careful -- only a sprinkle will do the trick!
    • Use baby powder to prevent chafing.  Great for runners.
    •  Make eyelashes appear fuller and longer by dusting baby powder on your lashes before applying mascara.
    • Get rid of shaving friction when using an electric shaver by using baby powder before shaving.