7 DIY Beauty Hacks

09 January 2014

Alright.

This weather is killing us. Well, it's killing me not to be able to take the kids outside to get their wiggles and giggles out and Simon actuallllly went through with the, "the next toy you fight over - it goes in the trash" threat when he got home from work this morning and he says we're going to keep going until this house is toyless. I think he meant it. So maybe it's just killing the parents around here BUT my one solution to the insanity is to give the kids baths. Every single day and another one (or three - if we are doing solo soaks) at night if sanity necessitates such little luxuries. If they bathe separately (or sometimes they can handle two at a time ... sometimes) they are super happy little guppies and the other one or two are content to have all the toys to themselves.

Long explanation to explain that this isn't turning into a beauty blog complete with YouTube channel and tutorials on how to shape your unruly brows ... rest very much assured of that fact. I'm just sharing some of the things I do to keep myself entertained while the kids enjoy these life saving marathon soaks and Theo (his baths are a little more high maintenance because ... drowned factor) circles the bathroom in search of some mischief (none to be found, thank your brother for that, Theodoro).

When I was a tween I used to love poring over one of those little beauty books they sell by the candy in the checkout line at the grocery store because the little book told me how to: whiten my teeth with mashed strawberries! and speed up the nail polish drying process with a bowl of ice water!  and other things that clearly made a lasting impression because I've forgotten but here .... take take take my advice. Drink it up ....



Hacks might be a bit of a stretch but .... let's lean with it. Rock with it. And roll with it too.

Also .... let's all marvel at that horrific bit of photo editing brought to you by 3 in the morning and 3 hours of sleep in the past 3 days.
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end marvel.
thanks.

1. green tea cubes for a puffy face/eyes: I'll be honest and admit that I only made the ice cubes out of green tea one time and now I just use plain old ice cubes but I do think the tea makes a difference. Basically (no matter how much sugar, salt, and coffee I avoid) I feel like my face is always puffy and it's especially terrible when I'm pregnant. If I melt half an ice cube on my face I think it helps. Call me super crazy, that's fine. If you can stand to do the whole cube and completely lose feeling in your face .... I'm impressed. This also works if you're out of coffee in the morning. Zaps you right into awake mode. You'll see.

2. cold water on wet nails: Well .... just nails that aren't completely dry. You know when your nails seem dry but then you get a toddler dressed and it looks like someone embossed hyroglyphics onto the polish? Yes, it's the worst. It's not the end of the world but I just fill the sink with super cold water (not a problem this time of year ... in the summer you can pop an ice cube in .... I'll let you) after painting your nails and letting them dry to just over the sticky hump and .... submerge for a minute. It sets the polish niiiiiice and smooth. Just watch.

3. epsom salt + baking soda bath: I obviously don't do this one while the kids are bathing because we do not own a feeding trough and we would not all fit but it doesn't take long so usually I can take a quick bath while the kids are eating breakfast or lunch. Simply dump a cup or two of epsom salts into a warm bath along with a few generous shakes of baking soda and any fragrant oil that you like (I'm on a lavendar kick but the first trimester I was alllllll about the lemon) and .... toxins be gone. Supposedly. I've read about so many celebrities that do this and .... maybe they are lying but I'm not and I promise I can see the swelling in my ankles decrease by the time I pop out of the mini-soak.

4. baking soda and hydrogen peroxide to whiten teeth: You've seen it all over Pinterest. I've only done this a handful of times but I can tell a difference. Just make a little paste in a little bowl with a tiny bit of toothpaste so you don't die a salt-gagging death and brush brush brush. My gums and teeth are crazy sensitive and CRAZY super sensitive when I'm pregnant but if I do this every other day .... they behave. And don't hurt. I've read about people adding salt to "exfoliate" their teeth but .... I haven't gone that far yet.

5. coffee scrub: I'm a connoisseur of the facial scrub. I don't know why but if you slap the word, "scrub" on a tube of gunk and tell me that it will slough of dead cells and minimize my pore size ... I'm alllll over it. So I've tried about a million. Never have I ever found one as effective as coffee grounds. Here's my recipe but really just a little coffee and oil and maybe some sugar is all you need. If you have sensitive skin .... I highly do not recommend moving forward with this diy. Not at all.

6. baking soda scrub: And if you do have sensitive skin ... baking soda (little bit of baking soda with just enough water to make a paste) is a great one to try. I've talked about it here and I haven't had to do it in a long time because summer was a million years ago or maybe I've done it enough that my clingy melasma is gone forever.

7. coconut oil on cuticles and heels: Ah. This is the winter of the dry extremities. My hair, my cuticles, my feet, my hands - always my hands. I've found that rubbing coconut oil on my cuticles and heels and then wearing socks (only on feet, not on hands ... although that's not a bad idea) overnight and (most likely in my lazy case) way into the next day ... dry no more. And everyone loves a moisturized heel, right? Right.

I know you've got a million better ideas.
Let the lady of the blog know.
She'd be most appreciative.

44 comments:

  1. Oooh, thanks for tip numero 4. I should give that a try :)

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  2. This is great! You can also do the cold-water-on-wet-nails thing with running water; just stick your fingers under the tap. The moving water actually doesn't mess up the polish, and it's faster than filling the sink. Still cold though!

    Have you tried apple cider vinegar as a hair rinse after washing? I've heard great things but I've never actually tried it out.

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  3. So I know that #3 sounds a little crazy but let me assure you with something even crazier that it really does work. That Epsom salt sucks out your toxins.

    Here's my crazy proof: my stepdad was in the Gulf War and the Army for about 20 years. He was exposed to A LOT of terrible terrible things that affect his health now. Heavy metals, weird immunizations all at once, covered in crude oil, chemicals, just bad stuff. When he takes an Epsom salt bath the water starts out clear (duh) and ends up black. Seriously. He's got so much junk in him it turns the water dark and murky. Obviously we won't notice a difference because we've never swam in crude oil but that's my encouragement to you to keep it up. ;)

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    1. That is crazy!!! It's awesome too. Now I want to take an Epsom bath!

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    2. That is crazy!!! It's awesome too. Now I want to take an Epsom bath!

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    3. Wow!! And this just confirms that I'll be attempting a bath tomorrow then. Amazing.

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  4. I love that giant tub of coconut oil from Costco. It's the miracle oil. I cook with it, but I also slap it on any kind of skin issue. Rash? Coconut oil. Bug bite? Coconut oil. Itchy? Coconut oil. Etc., etc. It's awesome.

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  5. And to continue with the coconut oil magic. I just found out a month or so ago that ta da! Eye makeup remover. Smear it on wipe off with one of those cotton ball pads. Works like a dream doesnt hurt eyes and my eye bags are all kinds of soft now - we know how important that is.

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  7. yes, yes, and yes! I am liking all of these. Maybe if I space them out they could last me until winter is over? That would be until May. But since you busted out the coconut oil mix some of it with raw honey heat it in the microwave and lather up the ends of your hair for a deep conditioning treatment. It smells amazing and it works to fight off the dry brittle cold dullness. Take it from me the tundra hair warrior ;)

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  8. Those toxin-removing strategies are always intriguing but I never actually do them. Maybe I'll give the epsom salts a try!

    And please be careful with the baking soda/peroxide on your teeth! According to a friend's dentist, baking soda is abrasive enough to clean your teeth, but also abrasive enough to take off the enamel if you use it too much. I'm not sure if this counts as proof but I used it to scrub my toilet once, it took some enamel off, and now my toilet looks permanently dirty. So also be careful using it on your toilet!

    Also, coconut oil is the only thing my son will let me put on his poor dry skin. We call it 'special coconut oil cream' and it works like a charm!

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  9. I wonder if the epsom salt will suck out a toxic attitude? Hmmm...
    My favorite pore reducer is an egg white facial. Just whip the egg whites a little bit - or don't, it works either way - put it on your face and let it stiffen up good.
    I'm also a big fan of the old preparation H under the eyes trick to take care of puffiness. Oddly, I prefer witch hazel for the malady prep-H is supposed to help.
    Of course, I'm of the generation that used lemon juice to lighten our hair in the summer and tanned in crisco and iodine for that deep, dark, melanoma inducing tan.

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  10. I love a lemon and sugar scrub - tastes like lemonade. Like the look of that hair treatment KelseyB mentioned too!

    A sidenote on puffiness: I had a puffy first pregnancy. Wanted to avoid it in my second and got sucked into buying some of these (http://www.amazon.com/Nat-Sulph-100-tabs-Brand-Schuessler/dp/B0045PAT4S/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1389307398&sr=8-4&keywords=schuessler) mineral salts that are meant to eliminate puffiness. And, I was not puffy. I don't even think I took one every day.

    I can't promise that they work for everyone of course. I also quit sugar in my third trimester and I reckon that helped a ton as well. A little more drastic than a pill though ;)

    Oh and I totally have nothing to do with those tablets - just thought I'd pass along something I had success with. Blah, I say that like I'm a big blogger that needs those sorts of disclaimers - ha!

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  11. I rub a little bit of baby lotion in my hands then run my hands under water to thin the lotion out and run my fingers through my hair as an epic leave in conditioner/static reducer. Works like a charm!

    I also find baby wipes extremely helpful in removing makeup. Including eye make up.

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  12. My husband is sooo close to following through with that "toy in the trash" threat. Except in our case, it would be an action targeted at punishing the misbehaving 3-year-old, so I've implored him (out of kids' earshot) not to follow through, because it would punish the (mostly) innocent 2-year-old too. Sigh...

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  13. I can second the Prep-H for under the eyes. Also, Visine on a red pimple will take the redness out of it, so will a crushed up aspirin (anti inflammatory). Also, I bought some tea tree oil and it's softening up the bottoms of my gross winter feet. Apply liberally, put on socks and go to bed.

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  14. I am going to try all of these things because you are gorgeous. haha. but really! i think i will follow through with at least 50% this evening. I'll let you know how it goes. :D

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  15. The thought of giving my three kids a bath every night gives me the willies…but maybe that's because we only have a shower stall and they have to bathe in a plastic tub. You, ma'am, are amazing.

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  16. Baby powder as dry shampoo for my always greasy mane!

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  17. I'll definitely have to try the cold water trick with nail polish. I ALWAYS mess up my nail polish before it's dry.

    Have you heard of using diluted raw apple cider vinegar as a toner? I've been doing it for about a year now. I don't really know if it's made a difference (my skin isn't too problematic), but it certainly hasn't hurt. How's that for an endorsement!

    I also read somewhere that you can use cornstarch or cocoa powder as dry shampoo. I don't use dry shampoo, so I can't make a comparison, but I do occasionally use corn starch. I brush it through the font part of my hair at night and let it soak up the grease overnight so I don't have to worry about my hair looking white in the morning.

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  18. My fave is a sugar scrub with coconut oil and honey. It's a dream. "Recipe" on my blog if you're interested.

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  19. I love using a baking soda scrub every couple days but with coconut oil in place of water (just a dab though because a little bit goes a looooong way). I've found that the oil is a great moisturizer. Plus it's one step to clean and moisturize which my lazy self appreciates.

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  20. can't remember if i've mentioned this before, but my absolute favorite face/body scrub is 1 cup brown sugar, 1/4 c. olive oil, 1/8 c. honey. you can add a little vanilla for smell if you want. and the measurements don't have to be exact.

    but that stuff is amazing.

    followed up with coconut oil as face/body lotion, my skin is happy happy and clear, smooth, and soft.

    love it!

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  21. I got a tiny shock that people use the epsom salts one for detox, didn't know you could- traditionally an epsom salt bath is used during a weight cut (for fighting) to draw all the water out of your body- then again when my husband does it he uses like 2 boxes of epsom salts.
    Baking soda scrub- I use bicarbonate of soda for the same thing:) Also I use white grape vinegar and water (1 part vinegar to 4 parts water) as my toner every night- I have the giant pore problem and so far vinegar is the best solution.

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    1. * traditional use of Epsom salts is traditional only to me I think- saw from your comments lots of people take those baths, educated I tell you.

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  22. Thanks for the ice water tip. I'm always having to let my nails go unpainted because it can be hard to find a window for the polish to fully dry in between diaper & clothing changes. This should solve the problem.

    It's nice to see a new use for coconut oil. My mum swears by it but she can't remember why she started using it (she thinks maybe to improve her memory...!).

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  23. I use coconut oil to minimize my stretch marks from my last pregnancy and it's amazing. Though something tells me your perfect preggo belly doesn't suffer such things...

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  24. Um, I don't know if you have ever read my blog, but your line in today's post "tutorials on how to shape your unruly brows" is particularly timely given MY post today. And I will try your hacks, by the way. :-)

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  25. Thanks for the tips! But do be careful with the lavender oil...it can cause contractions and induce labor. I usually avoid lavender until the very end of my pregnancies. :)

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  26. Raw honey and cinnamon made into barely a paste massaged onto your already wet face...v relaxing. Supposedly honey is antibacterial. It just feels very luxurious. And smells good. The cinnamon is scrubby without being too harsh.

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  27. Grace! Help a naïve, newbie mom-to-be out... I've read some places that baths are not a good idea during pregnancy, but I've been dying for a nice bath, and that baking soda + Epsom salt bath sounds so delightful I could cry. Are the mean people who nix baths just crazy? Or are there certain precautions that should be taken, etc.? Here's to hoping you have good news for me ;) Thanks for any help!

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    1. Ok, I'm no doctor. But my doctor has told me that warm baths are ok, but not hot. This is a struggle for me because I basically enjoy to be boiled in a tub, but I scale it back significantly when prego. I took warm baths throughout my first pregnancy with no problem, and I have done the same this pregnancy to. Just ask your doctor!

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  28. I love me an epson salt bath, but didn't know it helped with swelling! Now I will be taking one every hour.

    Also--I can't believe you are surviving on that little sleep! You're amazing...I would be homicidal.

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  29. Love all of these suggestions. Totally throwing some epsom salts in with my next bath. No judgment here on the baths for kids. I give my two year old a bath every. night. after dinner. Partly because she loves it, mostly because it wastes a lot of high-energy toddler time before bed. :)

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  30. Coconut Oil is on my shopping list! My heels could use some TLCoconut!

    I keep spoons in my freezer and put them on my eyes to de-puff. If you're worried about a "tongue on the poll" situation use tissue paper between the ladle and the ball from which you see!

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  31. Thank you for the cold water tip! Number one reason I don't paint my nails because they never fully dry right.

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  32. On the subject of beauty blogs, have you ever checked out Maskcara.com ? LOVE her blog! I don't even read beauty blogs but I do read hers! She's got a lot of practical beauty advice and also seems like a down-to-earth and beautiful person inside as well as out. Just thought I'd mention it in case you are looking for websites to surf when time allows!

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  33. Just tried the baking soda scrub last night to get rid of pregnancy freckles/Brown spots. It didn't work great on lessening the discoloration but my face did feel really fresh and exfoliated. I may do it again this week, or try straight lemon juice (saw it on pinterest), or buy that pigment gel you recommended awhile back.

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  34. I've done a baking soda scrub before but I am dying to try the coffee grounds scrub. I love using lemon juice on my face (when I remember to actually take my makeup off at night and apply the lemon juice). I feel like it actually helps brighten my skin and treats the breakouts I get. And why have I never thought of coconut oil for my alligator-skin-dry heels? This is happening tonight.

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  35. coconut oil + baby wipe as eye makeup remover. I have those supplies in abundance anyway so I got super creative and repurposed them to remedy my constant black eyeliner smears beneath my tired and already slightly dead-looking eyes. It works great and coconut oil is a skin saver - win.

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  36. Mike threatened to take away Ellen's precious Minnie doll last night. She said, "Go ahead and take it." Stone cold.

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  37. I like the striped 3/4 sleeve tops!

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  38. I like the striped 3/4 sleeve tops!

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  39. I like the striped 3/4 sleeve tops!

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