BeneTints Of Beetroot – DIY Colour Changing Lip Scrub And Lip Balm

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It’s been a while since I’ve done a DIY post. I do love a good DIY and when it’s for something that I’ve wanted to improve myself, I can’t help but share.

I’ve had a love/hate relationship with my lips for the longest time. I’m not totally adversed to the shape, in fact I quite like it, but I hate the fact that my lips are almost identical in colour to the rest of my face causing them to disappear. First-world problems, I know!

This week’s glorious DIY is based around the beauty bene-tints (see what I did there?) of beetroot. Yes, that’s right…beetroot. The ruby-red, stain inducing, acquired-tasting vegetable; which I absolutely detest! Surely I can’t be the only one who hates the taste of beetroot, but ever since I discovered that the beautiful Shay Mitchell (Pretty Little Liars) uses raw beetroot in favour of lipstick to give her lips a long-lasting wash of colour, I decided to stock up in abundance and add my own little twist to things.

I figured the title of this post may be a little misleading so let’s just clarify that this isn’t a colour changing scrub/balm, although that would be quite cool. This is a semi-permanent way to tint your lips with a wonderful rose-pink hue. I’ve been using a combination of the scrub and balm for a month now and I can certainly see a change in colour on my lips; which makes getting ready a piece of cake with just the need of a clear lipgloss and no semi-permanent injectable makeup!

Beetroot, as we all know, gives off a wonderful deep red colour; which is perfect for adding a natural stain to pretty much anything. Along with its pigmentation, beetroot also contains an array of antioxidants and vitamins which are highly beneficial for healthy skin including the sensitive skin on our lips. Beetroot powder and beetroot juice are both available in many high street stores and can certainly be used for the recipes below, but nothing beets (I’m so good at this) the natural extract of raw beetroot.

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Both the balm and scrub call for a base ingredient which is actually a combination of beetroot juice mixed with milk. Milk contains lactic acid; which gradually diminishes skin pigmentation leading to a brighter complexion. Whizzing together a few splashes of milk in a food processor together with chopped up, peeled pieces of raw beetroot creates a florescent milky ‘pudding’; which almost looks good enough to eat (if I didn’t hate beetroot).

Beetroot Lip Scrub

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  • Beetroot and milk concoction
  • Honey (organic if possible)
  • Granulated sugar
  • Unrefined Almond Oil
  • Freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Empty jar/pot/air-tight container

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The method is pretty simple and on par with most DIY lip scrubs (I created a plumping one not too long ago which you can read about here). Simply mix together all of the ingredients above, in no particular order, in a mixing bowl and transfer the contents to a jar.

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I picked up this little container from Superdrug for a mere £1, but anything will do.

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I purposely left out the quantity of each ingredient as they should be added according to taste. If you want a less abrasive exfoliant, use more honey and almond oil than sugar. The honey and oil will add moisture and nourishment to your lips which would be lost during the exfoliation process. I used a fair bit of sugar as I like a vigorous scrub, but mixing the ingredients together and adding as you go along will allow you to get to the consistent that you like.

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I tend to go overboard with my ingredients and make more product than required for my jar, so I kept the remainder of my scrub in an air-tight container. The scrub will keep well for up to 4 months (non-refridgerated) as the lemon juice acts as a preservative.

Beetroot Lip Balm

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  • Beetroot and milk concoction
  • Vaseline
  • Almond oil

The lip balm portion of this DIY is even easier than the scrub thanks to the inclusion of Vaseline. However, rather than adding the beetroot/milk concoction straight into the mixture (like I did with the scrub), I used a strainer to extract just the juice portion of the mixture as I wanted to create a smooth consistency.

Simply mixing together the juice from the concoction, together with Vaseline and a few drops of almond oil for extra moisture, creates a wonderful pink lip tint which rivals my Bobbi Brown Lip Tint any day.

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For dramatic effect, I added in a few crushed rose petals; which adds more pigmentation to the balm but also melts beautifully into the lips upon contact. You certainly don’t have to go that far, but it’s an option if you’re as boogie as me.

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The key idea to using this combo is consistency. The mixture will only work if you are consistent with its use. As you can see from my before picture above, my lips needed a lot of work. The corners of my mouth were also fairly pigmented; which I didn’t like. I made it my mission to use the scrub and lip balm twice daily, once in the morning and once before bed. I gave myself a month to see results; which I got within two weeks of consistent use, but I’ve made it into such a habit now that I continue to use it despite being happy with the results.

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…and here they are! It’s pretty clear to see that there’s a significant colour change, not only to my lips themselves but also around the corners of my mouth (thanks to the scrub). The colour is a little patchy, but I’m hoping that will even out with continued use.

It’s fair to say that I’ve beet-en my life long struggle of dark lips…ok,I’ll stop now…

Cellulite Reducing Chocolate & Coffee Scrub

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This week’s blog post is all about wobbly bits. Before your filthy minds run away with you, let me clarify which ‘bits’ I’m referring to. Women of all ages, sizes and ethnicity face the wrath of the ‘C’ word. Of course, I’m referring to cellulite; which is essentially tiny deposits of fat trapped beneath the surface of the skin. To put it simply – it’s those saggy, dimple-filled areas of our body which seem to stick around no matter how health-conscious we are.

From supermodels to average Jane, women all around the world know how hard it can be to get rid of cellulite. There are, of course, an array of treatments available in the beauty industry which promise to reduce cellulite and most work pretty well. However, cellulite treatments can be costly, time-consuming and very uncomfortable. If only there was a natural way to treat cellulite at home. Yep, you guessed it – I’m back with another beauty DIY!

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Seeing as Easter is coming up, I thought it best to incorporate some chocolate into this DIY cellulite-busting recipe. No this is not a cruel joke. Chocolate, or more specifically Cacao, is a fantastic natural ingredient for skin, hair and nails. It’s high in antioxidants, in fact, it’s full of them; which is essential for fighting against premature ageing. We’ve all heard the rumour that a bit of chocolate once a day does wonders for our insides; well it’s true! However, you need natural Cacao or at least 70% dark chocolate to get the benefits. Along with the antioxidants, Cacao is full of vitamin C, magnesium and omega 6 fatty acids. In a nutshell (pun intended) – Cacao is perfect for cell regeneration, skin protection, hydration and sun protection (that wasn’t quite a nutshell).

Along with natural Cacao, this recipe calls for ground coffee. Forget the instant stuff, that’s not real coffee anyway (coffee snob alert). Freshly ground coffee beans are what you need here to fight against pesky cellulite. The enzymes in coffee are natural enemies of cellulite. Fat is broken down and blood circulation is encouraged with use of the dark stuff. Scrubbing with ground coffee also promotes cell renewal. The abrasive texture buffs away dull dead skin and leaves you with a natural glow. If you want amazing skin – coffee is the way forward.

The beauty industry has recently exploded with an array of coffee-based scrubs, like my personal favourite from the Bean Beauty range. With summer around the corner, we all need to get our skin in tip-top shape;  which is why exfoliating at least twice a week with a good scrub is essential. Although these beautifully packaged scrubs are amazing and a permanent staple in my bathroom, they’re also very pricey. I go through one of these packs a month; which can be a fairly expensive habit to maintain. However, following the recipe below will give you all of the benefits of a coffee scrub without the price tag.

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Ingredients

  • Ground coffee – either grind the coffee yourself or use ready-made ground coffee. Do not use the instant kind as this will dissolve in the mixture.
  • White or Brown sugar – this is down to personal preference. I like an abrasive scrub, because I like torturing myself I guess. For this I use white sugar as the granules are larger and more course. If you have sensitive skin or you don’t like putting your body through its paces, use brown sugar. Again, there’s no preference in which type of brown sugar (obviously the softer the sugar the more gentle it will be on your skin). Both brown and white sugar work the same way so find what’s comfortable for you.
  • Vanilla bean extract –  vanilla has anti-inflammatory properties, which can help to soothe and calm irritated skin. The abrasiveness of the coffee and sugar combined can cause irritation to the skin (if not used in the correct way). Vanilla will help to calm you skin down as well as fight against skin diseases. You can stick a vanilla pod in the mixture when you’re done to intensify the scent of vanilla, but it all depends on how pedantic you are on the finer details.
  • Cacao – do not use drinking chocolate or any other hot chocolate mix, it’s not the same thing! Use natural ground Cacao powder which is readily available in many high street stores.
  • Coconut oil – you knew this was coming. No DIY beauty product of mine would be complete without the inclusion of coconut oil. Simply put, coconut oil would be used here as a moisturising component of the scrub, but also for its anti-ageing benefits.
  • Air tight container or preservative jar – I chose to use a Kilner jar; which I picked up from Tesco. You can choose to use whatever you like, as long as it’s air tight and easy to store. The mixture itself will last up to 6 months, so you’ll want to use something that you’ll proudly display in your shower for a lengthy period of time.

 

Method

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Take equal parts of ground coffee and sugar. I used a mixing bowl to incorporate all of the ingredients together with ease. You don’t need to use any measuring utensils, just eye ball it into roughly equal parts.

Add Cacao powder to your mixture. Again, you can eyeball it. I like my mixture to smell as chocolatey as possible so I add about 5 tablespoons to my mixture. If you’re making a large batch then add more, but just as long as it’s less than the amount of sugar and coffee that you used.

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Once your mixture looks a little something like this, add a few drops of your vanilla bean extract. The vanilla would be fairly concentrated so you’ll only need a few drops.

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Add your coconut oil. This is where you’ll need to use your judgement…and your biceps. Whilst mixing all of the other ingredients together, pour in your melted coconut oil. The amount of coconut oil you need depends on how ‘greasy’ you want your scrub to be. I like a fairly dry, abrasive scrub so I use enough to barely bind together the dry powders. The mixture does need to be fairly dry, but liquid enough to hold between your hands. Think semi-wet sand; which you can form into loosely packed balls (I’m sorry that was a shit description. Just try to resemble the picture above).

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Mix all of the ingredients together and transfer to your air tight container. Add your vanilla pod (if you wish) and store in a cool location. I keep mine in the bathroom (obviously) and it lasts me around 6 months. If you want yours to last a little longer, add some honey to your mixture as honey is natural preservative.

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Et voila! Doesn’t it look…well…crap. Your newly formed jar of coffee scrub will resemble a pile of earth. Don’t be disheartened, this will be the best scrub you will ever use on your skin. Not forgetting how heavily it smells! You’ll have to restrain yourself from using this every time you shower.

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You’ll want to use this scrub on wet skin 2-3 times a week. I get under the shower, wet my skin then move from directly under the shower head so that there’s not a consistent flow of water (there’s my daily dose of shower ettiequte for the day). I then use the coffee scrub in circular motions, towards my heart, to improve blood circulation. Make sure you get every nook and cranny, particularly concentrating in the areas where you suffer with cellulite. You’ll see a massive reduction within weeks of consistent use. Don’t forget to follow up with a luxurious body cream or oil after you rinse!

If you haven’t tried a coffee scrub yet, follow this recipe – you’ll thank me later. Happy scrubbing beauties!

DIY January | Heavenly Scented Whipped Body Butter

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If ever I’ve wished for a ‘scratch and sniff’ functionality on my blog, now would be the time. I’ve submerged myself in the depths of my kitchen over the past few weeks, mixing together a bit of this and a bit of that to bring you yet another DIY beauty product. I’ve experimented with lip scrubs, hair masks and even home-made blushers. It wasn’t until I took myself out of the kitchen and into my bathroom that I discovered what I’m truly after.

I’ve been obsessed with the Laura Mercier bath and body range longer than my bank account wishes to admit. I’ve always been a fan of sweet smelling scents and the Laura Mercier range provides me just that. Along with its delicious aroma, the products offer an air of glamour and elegance, something that is rarely associated with sweet smelling products. The body butters, in particular, are my personal fave. Not only are they incredibly moisturising for my dry skin, but they leave a delicate scent that sticks with me throughout the day. It was then, in the midst of slathering myself with the velvety texture of Laura Mercier’s Almond Coconut Milk Souffle, that it dawned on me – I could make this at home. Out came the whisk and away I went…

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What You’ll Need

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1/2 cup Shea Butter

Shea Butter is nature’s super food for the skin. This ivory-coloured fat is extracted from the nut of an African Shea tree. Widely used across regions of Africa, Shea Butter is naturally rich in vitamins A, E and F. It offers natural SPF protection as well as essential fatty acids for collagen production. It has a naturally thick consistency; which can be difficult to apply on its own. However, when melted with a carrier oil it offers extreme hydration for parched skin as well as anti-ageing benefits. No wonder why it’s an integral ingredient in most of the body moisturisers on the market today. It picked mine up from a cute little store called The Soapery on Amazon; which offer a great deal of raw and unrefined products.

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1/2 cup Cacao Butter (mango butter can be used as a replacement)

Cacao Butter provides this whipped body butter with a delicious aroma of melted chocolate. Cacao Butter is offered in shards of solids (often called ‘nibs’), but is in fact the oil extracted from cocoa beans. Cacao Butter, much like Shea Butter, is rich in antioxidants and is ultra-hydrating. It has natural emollient properties; which makes it a popular choice ingredient for many beauty products such as lip glosses, lip balms, and skin lotions. I picked mine up from Amazon (I honestly think Amazon Prime has ruined my life) and if you don’t use it all for this cream, it could be a great addition for your next chocolate dessert recipe.

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1/2 cup Coconut Oil (organic and unrefined)

No skincare blog post of mine would be complete without the inclusion of coconut oil. Coconut oil to me is what Windex is to the Dad in ‘My Big Fat Greek Wedding’. Coconut oil has an array of benefits, far too many to include in this post. For this whipped body butter it adds extra hydration, a heavenly scent and a base for the butters mentioned above to work their magic. You can pick up coconut oil from pretty much anywhere now, but I got mine from here.

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1/2 cup Almond Oil (organic and unrefined)

In all honesty, much like the coconut oil, almond oil acts purely as a carrier for the other ingredients. You could swap it out for another like olive oil, but I wanted to add a delicious fragrance of almond to my body butter. Almond oil is rich in Vitamin E, monounsaturated fatty acids, proteins, potassium and zinc; which makes it INCREDIBLE for your skin, hair and nails. I chose a sweet almond oil from Amazon.

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Optional – A few drops of essential oil (Vitamin E can be used for extra nourishment or a scented oil like Lavender can be used if you’re looking for a night time treat)

You’ll also need:

Storage jar – I wanted my body butter to look as special as it feels so I chose to store mine away in a clip-top preserving jar that I picked up for a mere £2.50 at Tescos.  You can of course store it in any container you wish, but keep it pretty – no one likes boring skincare!

Whisk – if you have slightly more sense than I do you will use an electric whisk or a stand mixer. I can’t tell you how much my arms felt like they were going to drop off.

Double boil system – doesn’t need to be fancy. Just a saucepan with boiling water and a heat-proof mixing bowl placed on top.

*Word of warning to anyone with allergies or any form of skin conditions – this body butter contains a shit ton of nut based ingredients. If you have fairly problematic skin or you plan on being in close contact with anyone who does, keep in mind that this is probably not the product for you. My skin is pretty normal with the odd spell of dryness so I’ve had no worries in using this cream.

 

Method

Boil water in a saucepan and place a glass mixing bowl on top. Ensure that the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water. Once water has boiled, reduce the gas to a medium flame.

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Place all of the ingredients into the bowl, leaving out the essential oils (should you wish to include it)

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Grab a whisk or a wooden spoon and mix together the ingredients. At this point the ingredients would have already begun to melt so you won’t need to accelerate the process with vigorous whisking.

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Once completely melted your mixture will begin to resemble something that you wouldn’t necessarily want to put on your body, unless you’ve had a jellyfish sting (that will make no sense to people who aren’t a fan of ‘Friends‘).

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Once it gets to this stage, remove the bowl from the heat (careful, it will be hot) and allow to cool for 10-15 minutes. After this time, add in your drops of essential oil and place the mixing bowl into the fridge for an hour to allow for further cooling and solidifying. I’m a little impatient so I placed mine in the freezer for around 20-30 minutes.

You’ll notice that your mixture would have turned into an off-white emolliant (somewhat like goose fat). Don’t allow for your mixture to completely solidify. You’ll want it at a stage where it’s soft enough to whisk, but not liquid. Grab your electric whisk/mixing stand and begin to whisk. If you’re stupid enough (like me) to use a manual whisker – good luck! Whisk until the mixture resembles whipped cream (in colour and in texture).

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Place the mixture back into the fridge/freezer for a further 10 minutes so that it can firm up again. Repeat the process of whisking and cooling a further 2 times. Once the mixture is able to create ‘soft peaks’ it’s then good to go.

Grab spoon-fulls of the butter and place in your chosen jar, topped off with a nice ribbon (just for dramatic effect).

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Your new-found whipped body butter will last for several months. I would suggest storing in the fridge if you live in a warm climate, but otherwise it will keep its texture pretty well in the jar.

Now I’m not being biased, but this whipped body butter smells pretty darn good! It resembles that of Palmer’s Cocoa Butter, but with a slight marzipan twist. Not only is it incredibly moisturising in the winter, but if you do choose to store it in the fridge, it makes for a wonderful cooling treat in the summer.

The ingredients list above will make a fair bit of body butter. I chose a 500ml jar to store it in, but in all honesty, I had enough to fill one more. You can of course reduce the amount of each ingredient (as long as they are equal parts) or find a bigger jar. I slather myself in body cream so there’s no such thing as too much in my books.

The cost of the ingredients came to a grand total of £25.92 plus £2.50 for the jar. Seeing as I could get two jars out of the mixture, it effectively cost me around £12.96 a pot. Can you get cheaper body lotions on the market? Of course! Can you get something as organic, natural and luxurious as this? I think not! The Laura Mercier Body Butters retail at around £45 for 300ml. For £12.96 I got myself 500ml; which is an absolute bargain in my eyes. The texture, look, smell and effect of my homemade whipped body butter is almost identical to the Laura Mercier version. Although, I find the title ‘whipped body butter’ far more satisfying.

DIY January | Make Your Own Fix Plus Spray (MAC)

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Cult beauty products. They make even the stone-hearted go weak at the knees. Powerful marketing houses push promises of a better appearance should you wish to part with your precious pennies in exchange of the latest lipstick shade. Surely my makeup would be perfectly ‘on fleek’ without having to succumb to advertising peer pressure? In some cases, the denomination of the word ‘cult’ can be loosely justified. In others, there is no better way to describe their charm. This is certainly the case for MAC’s Fix Plus.

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I won’t insult you with a descriptive narrative of this wonder product, we ALL know of its uses. Makeup collections of artists and beauty enthusiasts alike contain at least one bottle of this wonderful elixir. Some call it a finishing spray, but for me, it’s my catalyst for beautifully dewy makeup.

Continuing on with DIY January, I’ve decided to let you in on a VERY simple ‘at-home’ version of MAC’s infamous product. At £17.50 for 100 ml it’s not the most priciest product on the market. However, I literally bathe in this stuff when it comes to doing my makeup and I can rarely think of a time when I haven’t reached for this cloudy mixture. As with many of my DIY projects, I’ve managed to concoct a pretty remarkable dupe for a fraction of the price. A 100 ml sized version of this brew set me back a mere £2.70! That’s crazy considering it will last just as long as the Fix Plus and the ingredients list will give you at least 3/4 refills thereafter.

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What you will need

Refillable Spray bottle

Water

Glycerin (pure and unrefined which is available widely across most chemists)

Rose water (optional)

I marked the rose water as an optional addition as MAC’s Fix Plus doesn’t actually include it in its ingredients list. Rose water has long been a firm favourite for beauty lovers as a way of toning and refreshing the skin. It adds a beautiful perfumed scent to the mix; which also can’t be a bad thing. You can, of course, substitute this for cucumber extract or lavender; which are also widely available and fairly cheap to include. I picked up this bottle of rose water from my local Indian supermarket, because I knew it would be in abundance there!

The spray bottle was my most expensive purchase in this experiment. I picked up this beautiful glass container from Amazon (of course) for £7.90. You can opt for cheaper alternatives and there are many available on the market. However, I wanted to give my spray a little pizzazz and if I had to compare the two, this looks FAR better on my dressing table than the plastic bottle that the Fix Plus comes in.

Glycerin is the leading act for this spray and rightly so. Glycerin has a number of skincare benefits as well as providing the right properties for makeup application. Firstly, it’s HIGHLY moisturising; which is why many chemists stock it as a sore throat remedy. The moisturising benefits help with…well…moisturising the skin for one, anti-ageing and healing of any skin conditions. The thick, syrup-like consistency shouldn’t be misconstrued, it absorbs very easily into the skin without making it feel tacky. Although, it does act as a ‘glue’ for your makeup and makes your foundation last all day. I picked up this bottle of Glycerin from my local pharmacy, but you can also get it online for the same price.

Method

1.  Grab your spray bottle. I chose a 100 ml bottle, but any size will do.

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2. Pour in 1 part of Glycerin. I eye-balled it in all honesty. You don’t need to be too specific, but as long as it’s no more than 1/4 of the bottle.

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3. Pour in 2 parts of rose water or your chosen extract. Again, this was eye-balled. Get to about 1/2 way up the bottle.

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4. Fill the remainder of the bottle with water. No need to be fancy here. I chose mineral water, because I live in a hard water area. As long as your comfortable with it, go ahead with tap water.

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5. Close the cap on the spray bottle and shake away. Feel free to do a little dance while you do it (all the cool people do).

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6. Store and use your ‘finishing’ spray for up to 3 months. Re-fill with the same mixture when necessary.

Simple as really! Told you it would be a breeze! You can store your mixture in the fridge if you want a cooling affect on your skin, but if you get a pretty bottle like mine, you won’t want it to part with your dressing table.

I know I said I wouldn’t, but here’s a few little uses for this DIY Fix Plus spray:-

  • As a primer – spritz onto your face before you apply your makeup to ensure a moisturised base. It gives the skin a wonderful glow and can sheer out even the most full coverage of foundations.
  • As a finishing spray – similar concept really, but apply it after your base makeup. It can rid you of any cake face/powdery mess and ensure your face looks flawless rather than over-done.
  • As a toner – you can balance out the pH levels of your skin, particularly if you’ve chosen to include rose water.
  • As a makeup refresher – if you find yourself ‘drying out’ throughout the day (get your mind out of the gutter), spritz a little of this spray all over your face to instantly refresh and revive.
  • As a makeup intensifier – one of my favourite uses of MAC’s Fix Plus is to spritz my eye shadow or highlighting brush before going in with the product. It takes a moderately pigmented shade and intensifies it by 1000. This is particularly useful for duo-chrome or shimmer shades; which fail to provide you with as much pigmentation as you would like.
  • As a glue for your beauty blender – I recently picked up this trick and I haven’t been able to do without it since. After applying your highlighter (with a spritz on the brush if you like), spritz a little on your beauty blender and ‘press’ it over the areas where your highlighter has been applied. It intensifies the colour, but literally ‘melts’ the highlighter into your skin giving you that ‘glow from within’ look rather than crystal ball.

Let me know if you give this a try! I certainly won’t be re-purchasing another bottle of Fix Plus in the future!

DIY January | Make Your Own Drying Lotion (Mario Badescu Dupe)

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The dreaded January blues. Even the most prepared find themselves dragging their feet through this awful month. Unlike Christmas, January brings upon us motivation, dedication and self-improvement. Whether or not we admit it to ourselves, we all make a little promise, come the new year, to better our lives.

January is not only the month of self-improvement, but for many it’s the month of financial strain. In other words – we’re all broke as shit after Christmas. Even the most financially secure feel the pain post crimbo; which is why I’ve dedicated this month to ‘DIY January’. A four week stretch of DIY beauty/well being products; which you can cook up at home for a fraction of the retail value. Not only do they offer the chance for us to look after ourselves a little better, but they’re completely natural and purse friendly.

Kicking starting ‘DIY January’ is my take on the infamous Mario Badescu Drying Lotion. A highly coveted acne treatment; which promises to zap zits overnight with a mere swab of a cotton bud. Loved by women all over the world, including some very famous faces, this is one of those wonder products; which should be included in everyone’s skincare regime regardless of how frequently they get a breakout. It’s not the most expensive product on the market, but at £14.00 for 28ml it can become a pretty expensive habit.

Upon inspection of its cute glass bottle, I notice that the core ingredients are fairly limited. Calamine and Salicylic Acid play integral parts in sucking out the crap from your blemish whilst soothing the surrounding area. This got me thinking – why am I not able to make this at home?! I’ve had Calamine lotion sitting in my bathroom cabinet for as long as I can remember (torturous childhood memories of chicken pox just came flooding back to me). All I need is a little astringent, a fancy little bottle and I’m good to go.

What you’ll need:-

Calamine Lotion
Tea Tree Oil
Water
Storage container
Mixing bowl or empty water bottle

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There’s really not much to it is there? I mean, who doesn’t have Calamine Lotion in their bathroom cabinet?! Ok, if you’re under the age of 40 you probably don’t and you probably don’t know the benefits of this pink-hued stuff. Let’s take a look at the ingredients shall we? –

Calamine Lotion – A topic medication made up of zinc oxide, ferric oxide, phenol and calcium hydroxide. Used for a combination of aliments, its most common use is for soothing irritated skin i.e. chicken pox and sunburn. What it’s not known for is its effective treatment of acne. Calamine lotion soothes the redness and reduces the inflammation of acne due to its zinc oxide ingredient. Its astringent-like action reduces the outbreak of acne by absorbing the excess oil produced by over-stimulated sebaceous glands.

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Tea Tree oil – Used widely across Australia, this pungent yet powerful essential oil is derived from the plant Melaleuca Alternifolia. Tea Tree’s anti-bacterial properties makes it a powerful ingredient for drawing out impurities from a blemish. However, much like its smell, the oil itself is powerful and needs to be diluted with a little water in order to avoid burning the skin.

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All of my ingredients/tools were purchased from Superdrug for a total of £5.89, that’s a saving of just over £8 compared to the Mario Badescu Drying Lotion. If you haven’t got a Superdrug close by, don’t worry, all of these ingredients can be easily found in pharmacies and other beauty supply stores. I would advise, however, to use a smaller sized bottle than I did. I picked up this empty 100ml bottle thinking it would make for the perfect size, without realising that my cotton buds (q-tips) weren’t long enough to reach the sediment from the bottom.

Method:-

1. Grab empty container and remove cap
2. Give your Calamine Lotion a good shake in its own bottle and add to the container. Only fill about 1/3 of the way. Allow a few minutes for the pink sediment to settle to the bottom of the bottle before continuing.
3. In a separate mixing container, mix together 2 parts Tea Tree oil and 1 part water. Add as much or as little as you like as long as you keep the ratio the same.
4. Proceed with adding this oil/water mixture to your container of Calamine Lotion. Slowly does it – you don’t want to erupt the sediment at the bottom of the bottle.
5. Don’t shake the bottle (like I did), but allow for the sediment to completely settle and for the oil/water to separate from the pink sand.

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From this point on, your mixture won’t look like it’s separated much. The pink, fluffy concoction will resemble a sort of milkshake. Don’t panic. I had to allow mine to settle for around two days before it resembled the Mario Badescu Drying Lotion!

Much like its designer counterpart, when you get a spot coming along you simply grab a cotton bud, fully submerge it into the solution (so that it grabs a little pink sediment and a little oil) and apply directly onto the affected area. This is to be kept on overnight to awake to a completely dried up spot with no scarring of any kind. You must keep the solution out of direct sunlight and, if maintained, will keep for over a year!

Does it work as well as the Mario Badescu Drying Lotion? Yes it does and the ingredients; which I purchased could make a further 3 bottles! That means that for £5.89 I could make 2 years worth of drying lotion in comparison to a 28ml bottle at £14; which would probably only last me 6 months with continuous use. Bargain? You can bet your face on it!

Here’s a link to the ingredients/tools; which I used:-

Calamine Lotion – here

Tea Tree Oil – here (but you can get bigger bottles from Amazon)

Empty container – here (again, try searching on Amazon for smaller bottles, unless you have abnormally large q-tips. Keep the container clear, you’ll want to see the solution is separated at all times)

The Power Of Turmeric

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Indian mothers. For those of you who aren’t of Indian ethnicity let me indulge you in a little ‘Reena-pedia’ definition of the term – An over-bearing, parental figure with an insatiable need to feed and a never ending list of holistic cures for any ailment. 9 times out of 10 that ‘cure’ will include the use of turmeric (or ‘haldi’ if you’re desi like me). Got a headache? Drink some turmeric milk. Developed a nasty blemish overnight? Rub some turmeric paste on it. Have an ungrateful, overzealous boss who partakes in ‘selective hearing’ at the mere mention of a raise? Throw some turmeric powder at them. Turmeric is in abundance when you live in an Indian household. I shouldn’t poke fun really; I suspect one day my daughter will taunt me of my obsession with coconut oil (kids can be mean sometimes). However, when you’re Indian, turmeric is the first, last and only option.

That statement was boldly apparent during my wedding. Cue extremely embarrassing picture…

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…Shocking isn’t it? I’m going to need a large glass of wine to help me forget that picture ever existed. That was me during my ‘Haldi ceremony‘ (‘Maiyan‘ if you’re a fellow Sikh); which is performed on Indian brides all over the world. Pre-wedding rituals dictate that the bride-to-be must be covered head to toe by her family and friends in a thick turmeric paste to ensure a ‘pre-marital’ glow for her big day. I can’t tell you how much that annoyed me. I had turmeric in places that didn’t need to glow…thanks a lot ‘best friend’. Although, looking back at my wedding pictures, the stuff kinda worked!

I vaguely remember my childhood days hating the stuff. I once (reluctantly) asked my mother to reduce the amount of haldi in her food, because the kids at school thought I had Jaundice. Of course, I approached this request with great caution. If there’s one thing you must learn about Indian mothers it’s that their ‘bullshit’ tolerance is pretty low. However, turmeric has come a long way since my childhood. Gone are the notions of yellow-stained fingertips and lingering smell, turmeric is now seen as an Ayurvedic treatment loved by many.

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Turmeric contains compounds called Curcuminoids, the most important of which is Curcumin. This active ingredient contains a high potency of anti-inflammatory properties known to treat a number of skin conditions as well as providing medicinal benefits. Applying turmeric to the skin can help treat acne, eczema, rosacea and can also improve skin rejuvenation. Applying turmeric to the skin can provides anti-ageing benefits due to free radicals which fights against toxins.

It’s safe to say that turmeric has become a regular in kitchens all over the world and today, I’m sharing with you a few beauty tips which allows you to incorporate turmeric into your beauty routine. **WARNING You do run the risk of looking like the lost member of the Simpsons family, but don’t worry it does fade**

The Do-It-All Face mask

1 teaspoon of turmeric powder
1 teaspoon of honey
3 teaspoons of milk (or yogurt depending on your skin type)
Mix together till it forms a semi-thick paste and apply directly to the face and neck

This do-it-all face mask delivers results for all skin types. Swap out the milk for yogurt if you have acne-prone skin. It leaves you with an ethereal glow as well as providing exfoliation for dead skin cells. If you have acne scaring or hyper pigmentation, this mask is heaven sent to even those out. Leave it on for 10-20 minutes (depending on how much time you have), rinse and follow up with a good moisturiser.

The Best Dark Circle Corrector

1 teaspoon turmeric powder
2-3 teaspoons of pineapple juice (fresh rather than the concentrated. added sugar kind)
Mix together to form a loose paste and apply to your under eyes for 30 minutes. Wash off and apply a an eye cream.

Both turmeric and pineapple has lightening properties so applying a mixture of both to your under eyes will make a visible difference in just a week. Turmeric also contains anti-ageing ingredients so it works well at tackling those fine lines. Please avoid the lid area when applying this mixture, unless, of course, you’re looking for an entirely new problem for your eyes.

The Anti-Dandruff Treatment

1 teaspoon turmeric powder
3 tablespoons of coconut oil
Mix together to form a liquid emulsion and apply thoroughly throughout the scalp. Leave to rest for 1-2 hours, rinse with shampoo and style as normal.

Dandruff is the manifestation of cells; which are renew at a rapid rate on the scalp. The natural oils of your scalp mixed with the formation of the epidermis forms a cluster of cells which have not had time to dry out gradually. Turmeric has antibacterial, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties which naturally cleanses the scalp and reduces dandruff by stimulating blood circulation.

The Skin Imperfection Eraser

1 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon honey
Mix together to form a paste and apply directly on the affected area. Leave overnight and wash off in the morning. Apply nightly for two weeks.

Much like the face mask, this mixture will lighten hyper-pigmentation, scaring and any other dark imperfections you may have on your skin. Both turmeric and lemon juice have huge skin lightening properties; which will fade your marks away in a more natural way than any skin lightening cream. It also works wonders for dark underarms, elbows and knees.

The Painless Hair Remover

5 teaspoons sea salt
3 teaspoons turmeric
6 teaspoons milk
Mix together to form a loose ‘body scrub’ type emulsion. Rub over the area where you would like hair to be removed. Continue rubbing for 5 minutes and rinse with water. Continue daily until you see a reduction in hair growth.

This isn’t a quick fix so don’t throw your razor away just yet. The sea salt and turmeric act as an abrasion against the hair follicles. Continued use of this mixture will gradually reduce hair growth and, in some areas, lighten the hairs so they are less visible.

The Best Anti-Ageing Hand Treatment

2 teaspoons turmeric
2 tablespoons olive oil
Mix together and apply mixture to the back of your hands. Leave on for 15 minutes or place hands in treatment gloves for an hour. Rinse off and apply a luxurious hand cream.

Your hands are the first thing to age you. Your face may say 30, but the wrinkles on your hands may tell a different story. Both olive oil and turmeric have anti-ageing properties; which delve deep into the layers of skin providing nourishment for wrinkle-prone skin. Keep this treatment up for as long as you can and you will ensure your hands look youthful and supple.

The Cracked Heel Rescuer

3 tablespoons Neem oil
2 teaspoons turmeric
Mix together and apply the mixture 30 minutes before a warm bath. Allow the mixture to melt off in the bath and follow with a thick slathering of foot cream.

Turmeric heals inflammation as well as having soothing properties. Neem oil is a vegetable oil pressed from the fruits and seeds of the neem (Azadirachta indica), an evergreen tree which is endemic to the Indian subcontinent. Neem oil is a natural anti-fungal and anti-bacterial agent; which kills nasty foot fungus and any bacteria lurking around causing damage to your precious tootsies.

What are your favourite at-home beauty treatments? Comment below with your suggestions of what I could try next.