Category Archives: Health & Well-Being

5 DIY Hair Masks That’ll Turn Your Hair from Drab to Fab

Does your hair need a little extra TLC? Having hair that is free from frizz, less damaged, and voluminous is something that I think we all strive to have! To help out our hair, it’s common to go to the salon and spend hundreds of dollars on a routine that probably will not work and most likely uses chemicals and dyes that can actually be harmful.

With the right ingredients that you probably have hanging around in your kitchen, you can mix up your own homemade, all-natural hair mask right at home to make your own built in spa! It’s also important to stay hydrated, eat healthy foods and to try and avoid washing your hair every day.

Over washing your hair can cause a dry scalp, which can cause dandruff. Using these DIY hair masks will condition your hair and help prevent breakage while being a healthier way to repair damaged hair of all types. Lather up your hair with these homemade recipes for a relaxing, spa-like experience.

1. DIY YOGURT AND HONEY HAIR MASK (FOR DRY, FRIZZY & BRITTLE HAIR)

This deep conditioning DIY hair mask recipe comes together in no time with just two simple ingredients: yogurt, and honey. If your hair is feeling dry, frizzy and brittle this will be one of your go-to hair masks. The fat from the yogurt will help moisturize and cleanse your scalp-make sure to buy full-fat yogurt.

Honey, specifically raw honey is an excellent, nourishing ingredient for your hair. The honey will seal in the moisture in your hair to keep it conditioned, which will reduce breakage and split ends.

Try doing this treatment at least once a week and if you have extra long hair, try doubling the recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons natural yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon honey

Directions:

  1. Combine all of the ingredients together.
  2. Work the mask onto your hair, from the scalp to the ends.
  3. Give your scalp a good massage – you want the mask to cover your scalp.
  4. Leave the mask on for 15 -20 minutes.
  5. Wash as normal, but really well! If you use conditioner, just a small amount on the ends will do.
  6. Do this treatment once a week to restore and maintain your hair.

 2. DIY BANANA OLIVE OIL HAIR MASK (FOR DAMAGED HAIR)

This DIY hair mask treatment is best for when you have an overripe banana hanging around in the kitchen that you do not want to waste. Try out this recipe by blending the banana with olive oil to help repair damaged hair from chemicals, styling tools, chlorine and sun exposure. This mask will also help give dull hair its shine back as well as controlling those split ends!

Your beautiful locks will feel nourished and smooth after applying this mask, just make sure to wet your hair before applying this mask.

Ingredients:

  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

Directions:

  1. Get your ripe banana and extra virgin olive oil ready.
  2. Now into a blender, throw in your ripe banana (roughly chopped) and grind to a smooth, lump-free puree. This is crucial because you do not want to end up with lumps in your hair.
  3. Open up the blender and add your olive oil into the pureed banana. Give it another whirl in the blender. You will now have a really frothy and creamy hair mask that smells absolutely divine!
  4. Your banana olive oil hair mask is now ready for application! Get into the shower, wet your hair and use your fingers to apply the hair mask evenly through your hair strands and scalp as well. Allow it to sit for 10 – 15 minutes. Then rinse off thoroughly to reveal hydrated and conditioned, shiny hair!

3. DIY AVOCADO, COCONUT MILK AND OLIVE OIL HAIR MASK (FOR DULL HAIR)

Whether you have straight, curly or wavy hair, this deep conditioning hair mask will bring dull hair back to life. You’ll only need three ingredients to make this all-natural hair mask and it might just be tempting enough to eat!

Simply blend together the avocado, coconut milk, and extra virgin olive oil and slather all over shampooed and conditioned hair. Tie up your hair in a bun, grab a glass of wine, relax and let this mask sit for about an hour. The fats in these ingredients will seal in moisture and keep it super soft.

Ingredients:

  • 1 soft avocado
  • 1/2 cup organic coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil 

Directions:

  1. Mix all ingredients in a blender until smooth. 

Tips:

Make sure there are no lumps of avocado in the mixture. You don’t want them stuck in your hair after. Trust me.

4. DIY ALOE VERA HAIR MASK (FOR ITCHY SCALP AND DANDRUFF)

Aloe vera is known to be a wonderful ingredient for deep conditioning hair. It promotes hair growth, prevents an itchy scalp and reduces dandruff. This recipe uses ground cinnamon, which will stimulate the scalp for hair growth. Store bought aloe vera gel works for this recipe and even freshly scooped from the plant. Make sure to increase the recipe for longer hair.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons of pure aloe vera gel
  • 1/2 teaspoon of organic ceylon cinnamon powder

Directions:

  1. In a bowl, take 2 tablespoons of aloe vera gel. You can either use store bought pure aloe gel or use freshly scooped one. Add in cinnamon powder and give the mixture a good mix making sure there are no lumps.
  2. Once you are done with this, apply the mask all over hair and scalp. Do not worry if your scalp tingles a bit — it shows that the mask is working on the scalp. Tie a bun and cover your head with a shower cap. Shampoo it off after 10-15 mins.

Tips:

For hair that’s on the oily side, replace the cinnamon with a few drops of lemon juice. The combination of aloe vera gel and lemon juice is a powerful team that will fight against oily hair. Since the lemon juice is so acidic, it will keep the dirt and grease from locking into your hair.

5. DIY PUMPKIN AND HONEY HAIR MASK (HAIR GROWTH)

If you have any pumpkin purée leftovers, this hair mask treatment was made just for you! Combine the pumpkin purée with honey and apply liberally to your hair and scalp and let it sit for at least 15 minutes. Use a shower cap or plastic wrap to hold your hair and the mask in place. The pumpkin purée is rich in vitamins and minerals and helps promote healthy hair and hair growth.

This homemade hair mask can also serve as a face mask for glowing skin.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of pumpkin puree 
  • 1-2 tablespoons of honey

Directions:

  1. Mix both ingredients.
  2. Pack as much as you can onto your hair and scalp.
  3. You’ll need to either wrap your hair in saran wrap or wear a shower cap to keep the mask in place.
  4. Let it sit for at least 15 minutes and then rinse. Feel free to apply to your face as well!

Backwards Makeup Tricks That Really Work

While there’s no real wrong way to apply makeup (have fun! It comes off!), every makeup artist has his or her own method for creating the ultimate effect. Ask five pros whether they apply concealer or foundation first, and you’re bound to get five different answers. Today, we share 5 common backward tips that most makeup artists does. Prepare to be amazed.

Apply mascara first.

—and last. After you’ve primed your skin, apply a coat of mascara to open your eyes, create that important definition, and map the rest of your makeup look. Once you’ve finished your eye makeup, then apply a second coat of mascara. When you’re completely finished, do one final assessment to see if you need another coat for a finishing touch.

Line your lips after applying lipstick.

When it comes to lipstick, we always advise lining the lips last to help contain the color and perfect the shape of the lips without creating a harsh, unnatural line.

Fill in brows from the outside in.

When filling in the brows, we recommend working from the outside in to create the most natural shape. Brows typically need more definition on the ends so by using this method you’re applying stronger color where you really need it. When you’re finished working your way in, brush the brows back into place for a natural finish.

Use concealer before foundation.

Before applying your base, use concealer to cover any areas of discoloration (e.g. under the eyes, around the nose and mouth, and any blemishes). Then apply foundation only where you really need it and blend it out to nothing for the most natural look.

Line your eyes starting at the outer corner.

To create the perfect angle for your eyeliner, line the outer corner of the lower lash line first and extend slightly beyond the corner of the eye. Then come back in toward the upper lash line. Using this line as your guide will give you a beautiful line that enhances the natural shape of your eyes.

Makeup Tricks to Slim Your Face

If you’ve ever seen celebrities looking completely unrecognizable without a full face of makeup, then you know exactly how transformative certain techniques can be. Armed with these same makeup artist tricks and tips, these eight easy makeup tricks can take 10 pounds off your look, instantly. We’ll show you how to slim your face, enhance your favorite features, and play with proportion—all with makeup. Optical illusions, indeed.

1. Just like in art (and life!), dark makeup shades recede, while lighter colors bring features forward. Use this concept to your advantage by investing in a contour color or matte bronzer one or two shades deeper than your skin tone and a luminous highlighter that’s a bit lighter than your complexion. Feel free to use either cream or powder textures as you wish, or even a combination of the two. Regardless of which formula you choose, be sure to use a makeup brush to blend—streaky contour makeup is a major don’t.

2. Create the illusion of slimmer cheeks by applying your contour shade in a diagonal line from the center of your cheek up toward the ear. Make a slight “fish face” (you know, the pucker) while you do this with your brush to figure out the perfect placement, and don’t forget to blend. The higher you place your contour shade, the sharper your cheekbones will look. Finish off by swiping highlighter across the tops of the cheekbones to really bring out the contour.

3. To fake a thinner nose, swipe a contour powder down the sides of the bridge, stopping before you get to the nostrils. Blend highlighter down the bridge of your nose in a vertical line to complete the effect.

4. Apply bronzer along your jawline to define the area, and blend the shade to create a seamless contour. You’ll never have a double chin in a photo again.

5. Full lips can emphasize roundness on the face, but eyes made to look large with makeup will make the rest of the face appear smaller in comparison, so try playing up your eyes with liner, shadow, and mascara while leaving lips natural with a tinted balm or gloss.

6. Choose the right eyebrow shape. A higher, more pronounced arch helps balance out a round face by vertically stretching its appearance, drawing the eye upward.

7. Playing with light to bring the center of your face forward will help downplay the width of your face for a slimmer look. Start by highlighting the center of your face, then b highlighter between your brows, on the bridge of the nose, on the Cupid’s bow above your upper lip, and in the center of your chin.

8. Don’t forget your forehead—blend your contour shade upward into your temples and around the hairline to emphasize the angular qualities of your bone structure.

10 Common Beauty Mistakes You Might Be Making

We all make mistakes—and occasionally, we make the same mistakes over and over again without registering that they’re mistakes in the first place. We’re the first to admit when we’ve made a beauty blunder, which is why we’ve rounded up the 10 most common beauty mistakes to spare you from having the same slip-up time and time again. We’ve learned from experience.

1. You’re over-exfoliating. Exfoliation helps skin layers turn over faster, which can make your complexion look younger and more glowing, but too much exfoliation messes with the skin’s barrier, causing it to lose moisture and even be more susceptible to redness and acne. It’s easy to overdo it when you’re using a mechanical exfoliant, such as a scrub or washcloth. Instead, opt for a weekly gentle-strength chemical exfoliant or peel, which loosens dead skin cells using an acid (glycolic, salicylic, lactic) or enzyme. Always moisturize and use sunscreen after exfoliating, and avoid scrubs made with particles such as seeds or crushed shells; these exfoliants have jagged edges that create microscopic tears in the skin.

2. You’re neglecting your neck. Our necks are exposed to the same aging effects as our faces—the skin there is similarly sensitive and sees sunlight almost year-round (turtlenecks notwithstanding). When applying your moisturizer and SPF, don’t stop at the jawline.

3. You’re using the wrong cleanser. Does your skin have a squeaky-clean feeling after you splash away your face wash? You may be overdrying your complexion by stripping away its natural moisture. Only the oiliest skin types should use foaming cleansers or washes with scrubbing beads. If your skin is dry (and most of us get drier as we age), choose a moisturizing cream cleanser. Combination skin can handle a little bit of lather, but opt for a gentle formula that won’t irritate dry patches.

4. You’re washing with hot water. Whether you’re showering in it, splashing it on your face, or rinsing your hands with it, hot water strips your skin of its natural oils and leaves it parched. Rinse with warm or cool water instead.

5. You’re using mineral oil-based moisturizers. Lip balms and moisturizers made with mineral oil or petrolatum don’t get absorbed; instead they create an occlusive barrier on skin’s surface. This helps trap moisture in, but doesn’t hydrate skin that’s already parched. Instead, try a product with hyaluronic acid, ceramides, or even an oil, all of which penetrate skin to moisturize beyond the surface.

6. You’re not tending to your skin type. Don’t just settle for any old cleansing, toning, and moisturizing routine—addressing your specific skin type and concerns is a must, because using the wrong products for your skin can exacerbate the problems you already have. Pay close attention to what you’re buying, and really choose your products carefully rather than sticking to that same so-so cleanser you’ve been snagging at the CVS checkout counter for years.

7. You’re washing your face too frequently. Once in the morning, once at night may even be too much for some people, and forget about any more than that. Unless you’re working out, there’s no reason to wash your face with the full-on cleanser and water routine more than once a day, in the evening. It’s super important to get rid of makeup and the day’s grime each night, but in the morning, your skin is fresh from a night of sleep, not dirty. Splash with water and follow with moisturizer instead, or use a micellar water for an extra clean feeling.

8. You’re drying out your skin with too many acne treatments. Over-treating is very real, and bringing out the big guns on breakouts isn’t always the best thing for your skin. Acne-fighting ingredients are intended to dry out blemishes, but using too much or using them too frequently can cause the opposite reaction and dry skin out to the point that it begins to overproduce oil. Limit yourself to one application in the morning beneath makeup and one at night, and stick to one treatment rather than layering or experimenting.

9. You’re trying to scrub away pimples. It can be tempting to try and buff away raised breakouts, but you’ll only wear away the top layer of the skin, resulting in more breakouts. It’s a vicious cycle, so treat your skin gently.

10. You’re washing your face without removing makeup. Some cleansers are meant for makeup removal as well as deep cleansing, but others are meant to cleanse the skin after you’ve removed your makeup. Using a makeup remover first ensures your cleanest skin possible, as you’re less likely to leave residue behind—and you’ll avoid rubbing makeup further into your pores as you cleanse.

Get Rid of Clogged Pores with These 9 Tricks

A very small percent of the population is naturally blessed with perfect skin—but the rest of us are doomed to wander the earth trying to figure out how to get rid of clogged pores (a.k.a. blackheads) and closed comedones (a.k.a. those flesh-looking bumps that never really come to a head).

Whether from inflammation in the skin due to an excess of white blood cells, stress, or too much oil, clogged pores are pretty much inevitable. We’ve sought out some relief in the form of at-home remedies, products, and tips—so that the small problem of clogged pores doesn’t turn into a bigger problem (like acne).

1. Find a Mask with Active Charcoal Ingredients

A paraben-free option is always a plus. Origins’ Clear Improvement Active Charcoal Mask contains activated charcoal that is used to remove anything under or on top of the skin contributing to clogged pores. You can use this mask once every week or every day but either way you choose, your pores will be sure to thank you.

2. Pick up Some Parsley and Thyme

As a natural astringent, parsley pulls toxins straight out of your skin and assists in removing anything causing grief and contributing to clogged pores. Immerse the parsley in a large bowl of boiling water, and allow it to soak and cool. Once done, dip a wash cloth in the bowl, and apply to your face. Oil be gone, and pores be unclogged! Your other option is thyme. Use 3-4 tablespoons and 1.5 cups of hot water combined together, and let it sit for about 30 minutes. Filter the mixture, and use it as a cleanser whenever needed.

3. Use Powder Foundation Instead of Liquids

Because some clogged pores are due to oily skin, it can help to go easier on the liquid foundation. Tinted moisturizer, BB and CC creams are all great options also, because of their lighter formulas. If you’re feeling like wearing no foundation, try just a powder; less is more when you’re trying to clear out oily skin and unclog pores.

4. Try an At-Home Peel or Gel

Different from a cream or mask, a gel will cool the skin and take away the stress. Since the name of the game is picking up dead skin and unclogging pores for a more radiant glow, this lifts any contaminants and leaves you well on your way to the skin you’ve always wanted. With natural ingredients like pineapple and pomegranate, you may or may not be surprised to know that this product also boasts a paraben, sulfate, and phthalate-free formula.

5. Use Products with Grapeseed Oil

While grapeseed oil has many amazing uses in the hair, on the skin for anti-aging, medicinally, and for acne prevention and treatment, using it as a tool to unclog pores is also a step in the right direction. Benefits from the oil include vitamin E and linoleic acid, allowing the oil to naturally act as an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant.

6. Remove Your Makeup and Cleanse Your Face Daily

This may be a given, but the results make a huge difference. Build up of makeup on your skin is not cute as your pores will quickly clog, causing your face to become irritated fast. Get into the habit of washing your face with a cleanser that suits you in the morning and at night, using a deep cleanser to really see the effects.

7. Use Beauty Products That Suit Your Skin Type

While it’s easy to just go and pick up a product that will put a bandage over the huge problem that we call clogged pores, remedying the issues from the ground up is a better plan of action. If you find that your skin care products are just not doing the job, find out what type of skin you have and refresh your beauty cabinet. This goes for skincare and makeup items, as everything you put on your skin effects its quality and appearance day in and day out.

8. Steam Your Pores

Steaming your skin and pores on your face is a great way to open them up again. Fill a bowl with boiling water, and angle your face over the bowl to allow the steam to rise up over your skin. After steaming, pat it dry and take a second to relax. Use a toner or witch hazel to cleanse and even the skin while dually eliminating bacteria. Then, moisturize when you’re done. To intensify the steam, add some essential oils. Bonus: This is a great way to de-stress, too!

9. Exfoliate

Exfoliating the face with a small brush is important to lift impurities and dry skin cells. Combined with cleansing, moisturizing masks and treatments, exfoliating is the ultimate way to improve your skin’s clogged pore problem and overall condition.