Jun 30th, 2008 by Jennifer Lynn
Lookin’ like a million dollars, even on a broke-ass budget
For me, beauty has always been a special type of spiritual elevation – a powerful radiation from the inside out that shines through in the joy we feel in our hearts and by unlocking the passion in our souls. Beauty encapsulates not only the physical, but possesses the mental and spiritual just as deeply.
Many women may feel afraid to cultivate their external beauty and end up neglecting themselves in fear of being too vain or self indulgent. This to me is an absolute shame. Feeling fabulous both inside and out is extreme nourishment for the soul and every person should penetrate their fullest potential on every level. No matter what age, anyone can be truly beautiful.
Beauty is all around us. Appreciating and cultivating your unique beauty is your own Divine right.
KISS (keep it simple, sugar)
Taking proper care of your body doesn’t need to be expensive or a hassle and once you establish a routine, in can actually be a lot of fun! I always try to keep my beauty regime as natural as possible. There are just too many synthetic ingredients found in beauty products which can aggravate the skin and cause unwanted side effects.
Beauty always starts from the inside. It’s terribly cliché, I know, but true. No procedure is more powerful than proper nutrition, light exercise, yoga and meditation.
Your skin is the largest organ of the body and if you’re out of balance somewhere internally, the effects will always show up on the skin in some embarrassing form. Drink plenty of water consistently throughout the day to flush toxins from the body. Please don’t wait to feel thirsty before drinking. If you do, you are all ready well on your way to dehydration and depriving your organs of essential moisture. If urine isn’t clear when you pee, you need to consume more liquids.
My drink of choice has always been green tea for its beneficial antioxidant potential. I always keep a mug of green tea handy and sip it consistently throughout the day wherever I go.
Yoga is by far my favorite type of exercise. The long term health benefits of yoga are precious and invaluable. Yoga not only teaches us how to quiet our minds and reach tranquility, but the gentle stretching techniques (known as asanas) allow our bodies to age with grace and strength.
My other favorite exercise has always been hiking. By walking at least 45 minutes at least three times a week, you’re getting superior health benefits without needing to worry about fancy or complicated exercise equipment. And the best part, it’s absolutely free.
Abide by your own inner clock. Always listen to your unique body triggers for guidance. When you’re feeling sore, do some light yoga and stretching for fifteen minutes. Feeling drowsy? Take a quick power nap – twenty minutes usually suffices.
Your body will always let you know when it’s time to rest, relax, eat, sleep and play.
Make time for quiet meditation in your daily routine. Nothing deteriorates loveliness quicker than stress, and meditation will help unlock the inner Divine to help you feel connected and vibrant.
~¤ Healing always begins from within ¤~
Ready to play mad scientist in your kitchen and concoct some savory beauty recipes? Dabble into these simple and inexpensive, yet highly effective secrets. I’ll start with what I refer to as “The Big Three”. These are the essential beauty items I keep well-stocked in at all times and would feel helplessly lost without.
Vaseline is by far my favorite skin softener for problem areas. Top make-up artists also love using Vaseline on models like Kate Moss to give their skin that lovely dewy glow. Marilyn Monroe used to layer tons of this on while pairing it with baby powder to make her skin appear translucent and ethereal.
Vaseline can feel very goopy and heavy. The key here is to apply a very light layer at a time (a small dash of this stuff goes a long way), and always try to use on moist skin. If it feels too thick or greasy in your palm, mix in a bit of water. You don’t need it everywhere; apply a small amount of Vaseline at night to where your skin tends to feel the driest. (This happens to be the creases on the side of my nose.)
As an added bonus, it’s one of my favorite lip glosses as well. I run a toothbrush over my lips to get rid of dry skin and immediately apply a smidgen for irresistibly soft puckers.
If you suffer from very thin, stubby eyelashes like I do, Vaseline is a beauty must-have. I coat both sides of my eyelashes with a tiny amount and allow it to set for ten minutes. Then I use an eyelash curler and, wow! The transformation is astonishing. My eyelashes are now lovely, thick and elegantly long. I’ve never spent a penny on mascara because this technique is so dramatic and effective.
Apple Cider Vinegar with Mother is a miracle juice in a bottle. As someone who suffers from horribly dry skin in the winter, this is my holy grail for both dermatitis and acne blemishes. I mix 50% ACV with Mother and 50% tepid water in a small spray bottle and spritz it all over my face when my skin feels irritated and flaky. The ACV evens out the skin tone, kills bacteria, balances my skin’s pH levels and is a supreme blood purifier.
Suffering from dandruff? Add a generous amount of ACV with Mother to bath water, lean back to immerse entire back of head up to hairline and gently massage scalp with fingertips. Do this a few times a week and you’ll be amazed how quickly pesky dandruff (caused by bacteria and yeast) disappears. This also removes all the buildup gunk in hair. Enjoy your new silky soft mane! And don’t worry about the strong vinegar smell lingering in hair – it quickly dissipates.
I love this stuff so much, I even ingest a tablespoon of ACV with Mother every day internally for its blood purifying properties and for a boost of energy. Just be careful – the acid may wear away at tooth enamel when used over the long term. To counter this problem, add a tablespoon of ACV with Mother to hot water (you can also mix in a bit of honey to mask the yucky vinegar flavor if the taste makes you gag) and try to sip through a straw, allowing the liquid to fall to the back of throat.
At times I’ll notice tiny bumps forming on my arms and chest, which is usually caused by dry skin and eczema when hair follicles become clogged with oil. When I notice these, I spritz ACV with Mother directly to the area and the little buggers disappear overnight. Any acidic based moisturizer will also work to unclog these little annoyances when they sprout up.
Raw honey is liquid gold for the skin. Honey kills bacteria, viruses and fungus and is an amazing moisturizer as well as another great counter to acne. This is by far my favorite homemade facial mask. Simply apply raw honey all over face and neck (the fingertips will warm the honey enough to allow it to glide on smoothly) and let sit for 20 minutes or more.
I love letting my honey mask sit on overnight. Since your skin warms the honey as you sleep, parts of it will dribble off onto the pillow. But for me the outcome is worth every bit of the small mess it creates. I don’t mind washing my pillowcases afterward because I’m always amazed at how calm, soft and glowing my skin feels in the morning after rinsing the honey off. I receive so many compliments on my complexion!
I slather honey on my lips as well for another great (and yummy) lip gloss – it makes lips unbelievably soft and the sugars in the honey are a natural exfoliator. Honey also has amazing healing properties and makes a great natural antiseptic. Apply honey to wounds to kill bacteria, lessen the probability of a deep scar forming and to prevent infection.
Here are some other useful beauty tips I’ve acquired over the years.
Need exfoliation fast? Open a sugar packet and add a few drops of olive oil, gently apply to your face and rinse with tepid water. Mix instant oatmeal and water for another wonderful homemade exfoliating mask
Brighten teeth instantly by gurgling with Hydrogen Peroxide. Swish in mouth and be very careful not to swallow! You’ll look like a rabid dog by the time you spit the solution out, but try to hold the foam in your mouth as long as possible for optimal whitening results. And as a reader pointed out, using an incorrect concentration of peroxide can damage the enamel on your teeth. Always read the label on the bottle to be certain the concentration is safe for oral use.
Detoxify your skin … with kitty litter! This is one of those dirty little secrets you’ll pay hundreds of dollars for at the spa. You can have the same treatment in your own home for so much cheaper. Simply purchase a bag of 100% natural clay kitty litter (be sure to select a formula without clumping or any added chemicals or additives) and add a small amount of water to liquify. Apply to your face and entire body. Violà, an instant spa formula and invigorating mineral treatment!
Suffering from greasy, oily skin? Mash up a ripened tomato and apply the mush directly to your face. Leave on for at least 20 minutes and rinse with tepid water. Here’s another great recipe to unclog pores. Apply crushed cucumber pulp all over problem areas- it’s fabulous!
Getting itchy fingers and wanna mush up some more fruit? Try a banana this time. Smush a banana and add a tiny amount of honey to form a soft paste and apply the delectable goo directly to the face. Still have a few spare bananas on hand? Go ahead and eat one, then apply the smooshy rest to your hair as well. Now tell me beauty isn’t fun!
Crisco is a highly effective moisturizer and another big secret among Hollywood beauties. Hospitals even use this stuff (disguised under a different name, cream “C”) to treat skin conditions, like psoriasis.
Use powdered milk in the bath for a natural lactic exfoliator and silky smooth skin – you’ll quickly realize why milk and honey bathes were adored by Cleopatra. Milk is also a beauty secret used among many in the fashion industry. Instead of cleansing with water, many models simply refresh their face in the morning with a splash of milk!
Need an instant face lift? You’ll spend quite a chunk of change at the beauty counter by purchasing firming creams to tighten your face up. Try this instead. Crack one egg, remove the yolk and beat the egg white until frothy. Apply the egg white froth generously to face and neck and allow to set for at least twenty minutes. But don’t plan on trying to move your face or eating for a bit! After a few moments, you’ll immediately start to feel the ‘tightening’ effects. Lightly rinse with tepid water when finished.
Trying to lose weight but battling an irresistible sweet tooth? Consider jelly beans for a light calorie snack. Fresh fruit like strawberries and blueberries are an even sweeter alternative. Go ahead and mush some on your face while you’re at it (the fruit, not the jelly beans!)
To combat puffy swollen eyes, cucumber slices are the oldest beauty trick in the book. Don’t have any on hand? Try some of these other remedies instead. The potassium in raw potato slices works wonders for sore achy eyes and dark circles. Still stuck for a quick solution? Put two large spoons in the freezer for twenty minutes. Lay down, gently press the backs of the spoon to your eyes and say, “ahhhh”. Hold for at least ten minutes to ‘wake up’ tired peepers.
Need a good conditioning solution for dry, brittle hair? Mix one egg, a tablespoon of honey and a tablespoon of olive oil and apply to wet hair. Cover with a shower cap and let sit for at least an hour before rinsing.
For a quick alternative to hairspray, dissolve a tablespoon of sugar in hot water in a spray bottle and wait for it to cool.
Dandruff can be stubborn and persistent, and dry itchy scalps are no fun. Soak scalp in Apple Cider Vinegar with Mother a few times a week as mentioned above. Add a large handful of crushed aspirin tablets to your favorite bottle of shampoo to further combat flakes.
For blemishes on face, try the famous aspirin mask. The acetylsalicylic acid in aspirin is excellent for oily, acne-prone skin. Dissolve three to five uncoated aspirin in water and apply to red areas and blemishes. Allow aspirin to penetrate facial pores at least twenty minutes before rinsing.
For a quick boost, bend over at the waist (pretend like you’re pulling your head toward your knees, but allow your head and arms to just dangle) and hold the position for at least 30 seconds. This will not only invigorate your entire body, but your complexion will also get a rosy boost as well. If you’re somewhere where you’ll look absolutely ridiculous doing this, take off your shoes and gently roll a plastic water bottle back and forth under the arch of your foot for another revitalizing effect.
For a nasty red pimple, apply a bit of Visine to a cotton swab and hold the swab on your blemish for twenty seconds.
Eat a snippet of parsley for instant fresh and kissable breath.
Traveling, but suffer from a weak stomach? Eat candied ginger or peppermint to instantly soothe an unsettled tummy.
Shave your bikini line using Neosporin (an insider trick of lingerie models and porn stars) for a smooth, soothing shave and to eliminate redness, irritation and bumpiness.
Buy Vitamin E and Vitamin A capsules from your local health food store. Prick open and apply to your favorite inexpensive moisturizer for added lushness without the expensive price tag.
I routinely apply a dash of self-tanner to face and arms for that sun-kissed glow – and skip makeup all together! Fake Bake was a favorite of mine in the past, but it also darkened facial pores so I switched to Clarin’s Self-Tanning Bronzing Gel. Experiment a bit with different products to see what works best on your skin tone.
Build your own garden and you’ll have a majority of these beauty products right in your backyard. This year I spent less than $30 at the nursery for cucumbers, acorn squash, romaine and butter crunch lettuce, celery, broccoli, bell peppers, onions and tomatoes. My garden has flourished and I’ve saved a bundle on food shopping.
What are some of your unconventional beauty secrets?
~†~ Baby Steps Are Key ~†~ Your beauty is your own unique canvas. Do something every day to make an effort to pamper yourself. Be playful with new ideas in your beauty ritual and indulge every part of your skin. Never be afraid to recreate yourself.
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