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…

Why I’ve Become Obsessed With Tea Tree Oil (again)

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Let’s be honest, I obsess over many things. I wouldn’t go as far as to say that I have an addictive personality, but there’s a reason behind my severe OCD! There are times, however, when my obsession is justified. Cooking, travelling, shoe shopping, makeup – these are all obsessions which have fulfilled my life immensely and for good reason (arguably). Much like the above, tea tree oil has also become an obsession which has long surpassed its label of being a mere ‘phase’.

Studies have shown that scents have the power to trigger emotions or evoke memories. Tea tree oil is one of those scents; which brings me right back to my adolescence. My teenage years were filled with an array of scents – The Body Shop’s White Musk, cherry lipgloss, burnt hair (from all the crimping), and so on, but the pungent punch of tea tree oil sends me travelling down memory lane like no other.

Many of us are aware that tea tree oil is used widely across Australia and has been for many years, but where does it come from? Well it’s the essential oil derived from their native plant Melaleuca Alternifolia; which is indigenous to the south east region of Australia. Its volatile strength and antiseptic properties makes it a popular choice for natural remedies of viruses, fungi, mosquito bites and all sorts of bacteria. Coined as the ‘medicine in a bottle’, tea tree oil is one of those multi-purpose products; which you cannot afford to exclude from your home.

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Along with its eye-watering effects, tea tree oil has many cosmetic benefits; which we can incorporate into our every day routine. Most popularly known for its ability to fight against acne due to its anti-bacterial properties, tea tree oil is the perfect blemish treatment on the cheap. Although I’m not a ‘spotty’ person, I do get the odd stress spot (pimples that come up at the most inappropriate of times) and a dab of tea tree oil literally dries them out overnight . Tea tree oil can also be used to cure minor skin aliments such as ringworm, scarring (acne or chickenpox), boils, skin tags and rashes.

I will warn you, however, that tea tree oil must not and I stress MUST NOT be used directly on the skin. This stuff is not for the faint-hearted and although it’s a natural substance, it can cause severe irritation for even the most robust skin. Personally, I would use toxic waste on my skin if it promised a youthful glow, but even I’ve experienced the ‘burn’ from pure tea tree oil on my face.

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The simplest way to use tea tree oil is to dilute 8-10 drops with some water and store in an air-tight container (as above). You can use a carrier oil if you’re using the solution as an all-over treatment i.e. facial oil, but simple water will do just fine for blemishes. Use a cotton bud to apply the solution directly over the spot and leave it to ‘dry-out’ overnight. I did once use my fingers, but as a contact lens wearer, let me warn you on how idiotic that idea was.

You can pick up a bottle of tea tree oil from pretty much any drugstore-related retailer on the high street. I picked mine up from Superdrug for a measly £3 and each bottle has lasted me around 4 months. The Body Shop’s infamous Tree Tree Oil range is also a good place to start if you are acne-prone and want to safely transition into a full skincare line. I recently wrote a blog post on my DIY drying lotion; which is also a great alternative to using pure tea tree oil on your skin. If you do decide to go down the authentic route, ensure that you are using pure, organic oil for best use.

Would I recommend tea tree oil to my family and friends? Absolutely! I’ve dabbled in various blemish treatments over the years and although I have come across some great contenders, tea tree oil is by far one of the best homemade remedies for drying out a spot. If you can get over the smell, it pretty much does all the hard work of keep your skin clear and beautiful while you sleep; which is, of course, my preferred kind of beauty treatment!

What are your favourite uses of tea tree oil? Comment below.

10 Hair Hacks For Fabulous Hair

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With every ounce of my body I can profoundly declare that I am completely shit at doing my hair. Makeup I know…hair is a completely different story. I have three hairstyles in my life – straight, curly and homeless. 9 times out of 10 I opt for the latter. I won’t pretend to be a hair guru. Hell I won’t pretend to care. I wash my hair about once a week. I do aim for twice a week, but even once is enough to put me into trauma.

It’s not that I don’t like doing my hair. Actually…scratch that…I really don’t like doing my hair. I have so much of it you see that the prospect of washing, drying and styling my hair seems as enjoyable as a hot bikini wax with a metal spatula. This is why I enlist the help of genius hair hacks to ensure that my hair doesn’t look like a complete disaster (all the time).

Use a microfibre towel to dry your hair

We’ve all heard the cardinal rule that vigorously rubbing your hair between a bog standard bathroom towel will do more damage than good. I’m a person that needs to slightly towel dry my hair before going in with a  hairdryer to avoid standing there for 10 hours. My hair is so thick and dense that a hairdryer simply won’t suffice, but using a towel to take out excess moisture actually leaves my hair frizzy (more so than normal). I’ve tried the old trick of using a t-shirt rather than a towel, but it made zero difference in my opinion.

Microfibre towels, like the Aquas Hair Towel Lisse Luxe, may seem like an indulgent purchase, but if you suffer with hair anxiety as I do, it could be your best friend. However, there are cheaper alternatives on the market, which can be found all over Amazon. Microfibre towels are proven to reduce drying time, reduce blow-drying time which can help retain colour and tackle frizz. I use a microfibre towel that I picked up from Primark and I kid you not, by the time I finish popping on my lotions and potions after I get out of the shower, my hair is 80% dry after being wrapped up in one of these.

Wash before bed and style in the morning 

I wouldn’t necessarily call this a hack, just a simple word of advice. If you have long hair or you find doing your hair before work a chore, putting in that effort to wash your hair at night can save highly valuable sleep time. I never get time in the mornings to wash and style my hair so getting it washed the night before so that it’s all dry and ready to be styled is a life saver. One thing, however, that I definitely don’t do is go to bed with wet hair. I do put in the effort to towel dry, with my microfibre towel, and then a quick blow dry to ensure that my hair shafts are smoothed down before bed. Tossing around on your pillow at night can rough-up the hair cuticles and therefore cause frizz. After I dry my hair I like to wrap it up in a very high top knot so that I avoid any possibility of damage during my sleep.

Hot rollers for a bit of bounce

When I’m looking to get some extra body in my hair or if I’m in need of some glamorous curls, I turn to hot rollers. I know what you’re thinking. You can take the girl out of Essex, but…I haven’t got the time (or the patience) to be standing there giving myself a bouncy blow dry or perfectly formed barrel curls. I find hot rollers a life saver. Any rollers in fact. If I have a lot of time, I pop my hair into velcro rollers, like the Sleep In Rollers, and get on with my day until it’s time to take them out. My hot rollers of choice are the Babyliss Pro Ceramic Rollers; which are hands down the best roller system I’ve used and I’ve tried them all! Rollers are a great way to style your hair, without having to actually do your hair. I pop them on before I start my makeup and by the time I’ve applied my last layer of lippie it’s time to take them out. A quick spritz of hairspray and voila!

Spray hairspray on a brush/comb

I suffer with flyaway hair, thanks to all of the baby hair that I’ve got going on. A trick that I’ve learnt is to spritz some hairspray onto a brush, or comb, and run through my hair to style the style. I particularly focus on my parting where most of my baby hairs tend to run wild. It’s a nifty little trick for a frizz-haired girl like me, but don’t forget to wash your brush or comb regularly to rid it of the leftover residue.

Sparkling water as a hair rinse

The pH levels of carbonated water are lower than the water from your shower so using a bottle of sparkling (or carbonated) water on your mane as your last hair-washing step will do wonders for taming frizzy hair. Shampoo and condition as normal then pour a bottle of  sparkling water over your hair as a hair rinse. It will leave you with shiny, soft and manageable hair without any stickiness or smell.

Sugar to exfoliate your scalp

Did you know that your scalp requires as much cleansing, exfoliating and moisturising as your face does? I know what you’re thinking, how are you supposed to do that? Well our traditional shampoo and conditioner routine provides two out of three of those steps, but exfoliating the scalp seems to be missing. Product build up as well as dead skin cells and clog up your scalp leaving you with dry, itchy, flaky skin i.e. dandruff. It can also slow down cell renewal of the hair follicle and therefore prevent hair growth. Exfoliating (or clarifying) your scalp every now and then is so important, but rather than add ANOTHER product to your bathroom, why not try simple sugar? Adding a tablespoon to your shampoo once a month will provide you with a gentle exfoliation of the scalp, not to mention a lovely smell. The sugar will dissolve fairly easily under the shower so there’s no fuss about rinsing it out.

Practice three ‘in a rush’ hairstyles 

We all have those days when we’re in a rush. Mine is pretty much every day of my life. When I don’t have time to wash, straighten or curl my hair, I enlist the help of three hairstyles which I can always rely on. Practising three hairstyles, such as a fishtail braid, a messy bun or a half-up top knot will give you that confidence on your ‘off days’ to go out into the world with perfectly presentable hair. Put some practice in during your down time to master three hairstyles and you’ll never have to worry about what to do with your hair when you’re in a rush.

Give your pony some life

In reference to my previous hack, a ponytail is one of my fail-safe ‘in a rush’ hairstyles. Not particularly adventurous I must admit, but I do love a good pony. However, a simple ponytail can look a bit…well…meh. There are two ways of giving your ponytail some life. One way is to split your ponytail into two sections, one top and one bottom and place a crocodile clip in between them. Get as close as you can to the top of the ponytail and let the top piece gently fall over it. This will give the illusion of a ‘fuller’ ponytail without having to backcomb.

Another method is to create two ponytails to give the illusion of longer hair. Split your hair as you would with a half-up half-down hairstyle. Secure a ponytail in the bottom section and secure a second ponytail in the top. The top ponytail will mask the second, but it will look like you have much longer hair.

Styling powder between curls

If, like me, you crave big voluminous curls for a special night out (think Victoria Secret models), but you struggle to keep that volume going for longer than an hour try styling powders. I must admit they don’t leave your hair feeling great the next morning, but they easily wash out. Volume powders like Big Sexy Hair Powder Play add texture and volume to lacklustre hair that needs a little oomph. Traditionally, volume powders are sprinkled into the roots and massaged in for instant volume, but try sprinkling some powder in between your waves/curls for seriously big hair. Grab random sections of your freshly curled hair and sprinkle a light dusting of the powder all over. Focus particularly on the ‘underneath’ parts of your hair and in between layers. Don’t worry about the powder showing up, volume powders very quickly dissolve into nothing, but they leave you with MASSIVE hair that will last all night.

Use eyeshadow to fill in your hairline

This hack has been tried and tested all over the online beauty community and it really works! If your hairline or parting lacks some density, grab an eyeshadow and a brush (fluffy face brush will do the trick) and use it to fill in the gaps. Be sure to use an eyeshadow that closely resembles the colour of your hair unless you want to look really silly. Filling in the gaps in your hairline and parting gives the illusion of much thicker hair.

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)