Friday, November 18, 2011
Milk & Honey Bath
Lactic acid, found in milk, is a natural skin-softener, said Darrell McCurtain, a therapist at the Golden Door Spa. If filling an entire tub feels too indulgent, try using a small basin to soak feet or hands, or add a few cups to your bath water. Throw in a few teaspoons of honey to capture its anti-bacterial effect.
We cheered the news that red wine is good for our health, and McCurtain told us it's fab for your skin, too! "The antioxidants and polyphenols found in wine are good for softening skin, and they're easily absorbed through through it as well." Similar to the milk bath, fill your whole tub if you're feeling luxe (or lush), or try in smaller doses like a foot or hand soak.
Curly-haired ladies should borrow a (clean!) pair of their man's boxers to dry their locks, since a towel's fibers can actually increase frizziness. Simple cotton is far less agitating. "My best friend will literally jump out of the shower and wear her boyfriend's boxers on her head to help dry her hair and keep it up and out of her face so she can put makeup on," said Dallin James, hair stylist at the Marie Robinson Salon.
Lettuce & Spinach
Fight wrinkles and keep hair and nails healthy by fortifying your diet with lots of silicone-rich foods, suggests beauty nutritionist Paula Simpson. Smart buys include Romaine lettuce, spinach, cucumber, bell pepper, and tomatoes (including the skin).
Start digging through your spice rack–Simpson identified celery seed as a natural diuretic to combat bloating. She suggested a simple tea recipe to reap the benefits: Pour one cup of boiling water over a teaspoon of crushed seeds, steep for 10 to 20 minutes, and sip.
"Ever wonder why there's a fresh sprig of parsley on your dinner plate when you're at a restaurant?" said Simpson. It might be that your host wants to help you avoid awkward conversations later. "It's thought that parsley contains antibacterial properties helpful for fighting bad breath." To make it work for you, chew on a fresh sprig–dried versions won't work.
As an esthetician at Utah's Golden Door Spa, Jodi Ranson has learned a thing or two about caring for dry, cracked lips. "Honey! It helps to heal and hydrate, plus the anti-viral properties make it good for healing cold sores, too."
Green Tea Bags
Chilled, already-steeped green tea bags are an easy way to fight puffy circles in the morning. Ranson recommends steeping two and letting them sit in the fridge for at least 20 minutes. The coolness will feel amazing, and the brew's caffeine will help increase micro-circulation.
Espresso shot before your next run, anyone? An American College of Sports Medicine study found that consuming caffeine such as coffee, iced tea, or soda (diet!) can help increase physical performance during your workout. "Drink a caffeinated beverage before your workout!" suggested Dr. Elizabeth Applegate, a professor at UC Davis.
Lemon juice combined with tea is an easy fix for oily hair. "The lemon works as a great astringent but doesn't ruin the pH balance of the hair and scalp," explains TRESemmé celebrity stylist Jeanie Syfu. Do half lemon juice, half black tea and rinse through clean hair.
"If you have untamable curly locks, try mixing a dime-sized amount of olive oil in with your regular styling cream. You'll get smooth texture and unbeatable shine," said DuWop's National Training Manager, Jason Garner.
Garner's quick and easy tip to "make your body feel like silk"? Yup—more olive oil! "After a shower while your skin's still damp, apply olive oil all over your body and pat dry with a damp towel." It's moisturizing and dead sexy.
More Olive Oil
In a pinch, olive oil can remove eye makeup! "A small amount of olive oil on a cotton pad can gently remove the toughest makeup," says Joette Balsamo, makeup artist at the Marie Robinson Salon. "Just be sure to remove any oil residue with a clean pad dipped in water." Is that a walk-of-shame tip, or what?
Celebrity hairstylist Sally Hershberger said to try using your regular moisturizing lotion as conditioner for your hair. "It's great hydration for your scalp!"
This guac-like concoction works wonders on your hair, too. Hershberger's recipe calls for mashing up one to two avocados (depending on how much hair you've got), working through your hair, and letting sit for 10 minutes before rinsing.
Take a bottle of cranberry juice into the shower with you next time, says Hershberger. A quick rinse will boost hair's shine–especially if you're a redhead!
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Save money on sea-salt spritzes by bottling your own. Combine water, a few teaspoons of sea salt and a dash of olive oil in a spray bottle, shake, and spray, said Hershberger.
Hershberger suggests fighting frizz with seltzer. Rinse clean hair with unflavored club soda to smooth strands.
Toilet Seat Covers
"When in dire need, a toilet seat cover can be used as blotting paper," said LORAC creator and celeb makeup artist Carol Shaw. Sometimes shine-fighting is just that important.
Apple Cider Vinegar
After spending time as a celebrity makeup artist, Shaw's learned a thing or two about relaxing. Her easiest recommendation? Taking a bath with a few cups of apple cider vinegar to detox and de-stress.
Beat stinky feet by soaking tootsies in a black tea bath. C.O. Bigelow Proprietor, Ian Ginsberg, said the tea's tannins are good at neutralizing odor.
Polish-free nails look prettiest when clean—Ginsberg's trick is sprinkling baking soda on a lemon wedge and rubbing it on nails for a fresh white look.
Brushing Your Hair
We've all heard the old wives' tale that you should luxuriously brush your hair every night...well, it's actually true! "One hundred strokes a night for lustrous looking hair," says Ginsberg. "The oils disperse through the hair and keep strands and scalp healthy."
Another Lemon Trick
Forget pricey creams and serums. Ginsberg's pick for a brighter complexion is probably already in your kitchen (or at least at the neighborhood grocery store). "Rub a lemon on your face!"
Protect your lovingly cared-for strands even while you sleep. Edward Tricomi, lead stylist and co-owner of Warren-Tricomi salons, suggested investing in a silk pillowcase. It will help avoid tangled tresses, keep your style longer, and, most noticeably, make hair silkier.
Beer here! Lager lather is good for your hair, according to Jovani Van Orden, hairstylist at the Golden Door Spa at Waldorf-Astoria Park City. "The proteins from the malt and hops coat the hair and build it up, repairing damage. Plus, it leaves your hair with wonderful body!" Boil 3/4 cup of beer until it reduces to 1/4 cup, let cool, and add to 1 cup of regular shampoo.
Flax Seed Oil
Stimulate lash growth the natural way by dabbing flax seed oil on your lash line with a Q-tip, says IT Cosmetics Head of Creative Operations, Jacqueline Finnan. It contains omega-3, -6, and -9, along with B vitamins and lecithin to repair lash damage and get them growing.
An Herbal Poulitice
Fight acne with a time-tested poultice (an herb paste wrapped in cotton cloth). Josie Feria, Director of Spa Operations at Lapis spa, suggests grinding a mixture of herbs, such as dandelion and yellow dock, and slowly adding warm water to achieve a paste consistency. Once blended, put the paste into a clean piece of cotton fabric, secure, and let sit on affected area until the paste has dried. Helpful for fighting acne-inflamed skin, the trick is also good for sunburned skin.
Steeped chamomile tea bags can do wonders for your complexion. Edyta Perkowska of New York's Haven Spa recommended using them warmed for irritated spots on the face, and chilled to combat puffy eyes.
Oily skin? Paint a thin layer of egg whites over a freshly washed face to help fight shine, suggested Perkowska.
Plan a spa day at home next weekend with this easy oatmeal mask. Perkowska's recipe calls for cooking a serving of oatmeal with milk and reducing the amount called for to ensure the mixture stays super thick. Leave on for 10 minutes for exfoliating super-power.
Tired of trying to fight oily strands? Prevent them with this easy mint-infused shampoo, courtesy of InStyler celebrity hairstylist Dean Banowetz. Add a few bunches of mint to water, boil, strain, and add the minty water to your regular shampoo (use a 2-to-1 ratio, with more shampoo than water). Cleanse and condition hair as usual, using the mint concoction weekly.
Frizzy locks will benefit from a staple cookout condiment–mayo! Banowetz said to combine two teaspoons of natural eucalyptus tree oil with 1/4 cup of mayo and use in the shower post-shampoo, letting it saturate your locks for ten minutes.
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