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5 DIY Beauty Tips For A More Stunning You

5 DIY Beauty Tips For A More Stunning You

If you’re anything like me, you probably have a cabinet full of facial treatments, clay masks, cleansers, tooth whitening gels and expensive deep conditioning treatments in your bathroom, and you may have had mixed results with them. Expensive products are bought, tested a few times and then abandoned in the bottom of your drawer. Or maybe you love your moisturizing routine, but you can’t keep springing for the expensive lotion you’ve been using.

Chances are, you have some natural ingredients at home that can do the job of many of these products, or you have some hidden multi-taskers you didn’t know about. Rather than forking over tons for products that may or may not work, try some of these DIY beauty tips for a more beautiful, stunning you.

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1. Brush your teeth with baking soda

Baking soda is a natural whitener. It’s used in laundry detergent, natural shampoos, and toothpastes. Rather than purchasing a tub of toothpaste, however, consider making a home-made baking soda paste to whiten your teeth gently and naturally. Baking soda is a mild abrasive, so it gently scrapes off the plaque and food stuck to your teeth while lifting old stains, revealing a nicer, brighter color after regular use.

To make a baking soda paste to use on your teeth, mix half a teaspoon of baking soda with an ounce or two or water or lemon juice. Dip your toothbrush in the paste, then brush your teeth as usual. You should use this paste once a week; in between, use your regular toothpaste. You’ll find your teeth naturally whitening after a couple weeks of sticking to this routine.

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2. Use lemon juice to lighten your hair

People are quick to recommend using lemon juice in DIY projects on your skin, usually as part of scrubs or dark spot treatments. That’s actually a bad idea, as citrus oils can leave your skin more sensitive to sun damage and the acid can cause long-term harm. However, lemon juice can be immensely helpful for naturally lightening your hair color.

On a bright sunny day, take one cup of lemon juice, dilute it with a few tablespoons of water, spray the mixture in your hair until it’s thoroughly dampened, then spend an hour or two outside. Wash your hair and apply a moisturizing conditioner, as lemon juice is drying and your hair will be sapped of moisture. The result should be a few shades lighter than your original hair color. You can repeat the process every few days until you get the results you want. Although it won’t be as effective or as strong as bleaching, you can get natural sun-kissed highlights using this technique, particularly if you have brown to medium blonde hair, without overly damaging or drying your hair out.

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3. Use coconut oil as deep conditioner

If you suffer from dry hair, you’ve probably spent tons of money on hot oil treatments and expensive deep conditioners, but those are unnecessary. The best and easiest way to deep condition your hair is to use a natural, fatty liquid like olive oil or coconut oil. Take whatever natural oil you have around—you don’t want to use vegetable oil for this. Take two to six tablespoons of oil, depending on how much hair you have, and lather it into your hair after dampening it thoroughly in warm water. Wrap it up in a hair wrap and leave it in for at least 30 minutes, up to overnight if that suits you. Use shampoo and warm water to rinse it out. Your hair will be moisturized, shiny and soft after this treatment.

4. Shave your legs with conditioner

Shaving cream is the biggest scam of the 21st century. Most people can easily replace it with a wide variety of household items that are cheaper, more efficient and more effective. Shaving cream is messy and easy to run through quickly. The other expensive option is to get laser hair removal by experts. But rather than spending money on an unnecessary expense, use conditioner to remove your hair. It helps by softening the hair follicles and moisturizing your legs, making the razor run smoothly and without excessive clogging. Be sure to shave at the end of a hot shower, so the warm steam can open up your pores, giving you a closer shave.

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5. Use raw honey to treat your face

Raw honey can be an immensely helpful face treatment for everything from soothing irritation to clearing up acne to moisturizing. This natural anti-bacterial makes an excellent cleanser, mask, and exfoliant for your skin. Make sure to get the good stuff—raw, unpasteurized honey—as regular old honey won’t have any of the natural benefits that raw honey has.

To clear up daily grime or to exfoliate, apply a layer of raw honey all over your face and massage gently for two or three minutes into your skin. To exfoliate, leave it on for 10 to 15 minutes. Then gentle rinse it off with warm water for refreshed, moisturized plump skin.

Beauty treatments don’t have to be expensive, and they don’t have to come from a store. Natural homemade products can be just as effective at a fraction of the cost. Raid your closet, fridge and pantry for secret, effective beauty supplies.

Featured photo credit: Mario Antonio Pena Zapata via flickr.com

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Last Updated on September 18, 2020

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

Learning how to get in shape and set goals is important if you’re looking to live a healthier lifestyle and get closer to your goal weight. While this does require changes to your daily routine, you’ll find that you are able to look and feel better in only two weeks.

Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to get in shape. Although anyone can cover the basics (eat right and exercise), there are some things that I could only learn through trial and error. Let’s cover some of the most important points for how to get in shape in two weeks.

1. Exercise Daily

It is far easier to make exercise a habit if it is a daily one. If you aren’t exercising at all, I recommend starting by exercising a half hour every day. When you only exercise a couple times per week, it is much easier to turn one day off into three days off, a week off, or a month off.

If you are already used to exercising, switching to three or four times a week to fit your schedule may be preferable, but it is a lot harder to maintain a workout program you don’t do every day.

Be careful to not repeat the same exercise routine each day. If you do an intense ab workout one day, try switching it up to general cardio the next. You can also squeeze in a day of light walking to break up the intensity.

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If you’re a morning person, check out these morning exercises that will start your day off right.

2. Duration Doesn’t Substitute for Intensity

Once you get into the habit of regular exercise, where do you go if you still aren’t reaching your goals? Most people will solve the problem by exercising for longer periods of time, turning forty-minute workouts into two hour stretches. Not only does this drain your time, but it doesn’t work particularly well.

One study shows that “exercising for a whole hour instead of a half does not provide any additional loss in either body weight or fat”[1].

This is great news for both your schedule and your levels of motivation. You’ll likely find it much easier to exercise for 30 minutes a day instead of an hour. In those 30 minutes, do your best to up the intensity to your appropriate edge to get the most out of the time.

3. Acknowledge Your Limits

Many people get frustrated when they plateau in their weight loss or muscle gaining goals as they’re learning how to get in shape. Everyone has an equilibrium and genetic set point where their body wants to remain. This doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve your fitness goals, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you are struggling to lose weight or put on muscle.

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Acknowledging a set point doesn’t mean giving up, but it does mean realizing the obstacles you face.

Expect to hit a plateau in your own fitness results[2]. When you expect a plateau, you can manage around it so you can continue your progress at a more realistic rate. When expectations meet reality, you can avoid dietary crashes.

4. Eat Healthy, Not Just Food That Looks Healthy

Know what you eat. Don’t fuss over minutia like whether you’re getting enough Omega 3’s or tryptophan, but be aware of the big things. Look at the foods you eat regularly and figure out whether they are healthy or not. Don’t get fooled by the deceptively healthy snacks just pretending to be good for you.

The basic nutritional advice includes:

  • Eat unprocessed foods
  • Eat more veggies
  • Use meat as a side dish, not a main course
  • Eat whole grains, not refined grains[3]

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Eat whole grains when you want to learn how to get in shape.

    5. Watch Out for Travel

    Don’t let a four-day holiday interfere with your attempts when you’re learning how to get in shape. I don’t mean that you need to follow your diet and exercise plan without any excursion, but when you are in the first few weeks, still forming habits, be careful that a week long break doesn’t terminate your progress.

    This is also true of schedule changes that leave you suddenly busy or make it difficult to exercise. Have a backup plan so you can be consistent, at least for the first month when you are forming habits.

    If travel is on your schedule and can’t be avoided, make an exercise plan before you go[4], and make sure to pack exercise clothes and an exercise mat as motivation to keep you on track.

    6. Start Slow

    Ever start an exercise plan by running ten miles and then puking your guts out? Maybe you aren’t that extreme, but burnout is common early on when learning how to get in shape. You have a lifetime to be healthy, so don’t try to go from couch potato to athletic superstar in a week.

    If you are starting a running regime, for example, run less than you can to start. Starting strength training? Work with less weight than you could theoretically lift. Increasing intensity and pushing yourself can come later when your body becomes comfortable with regular exercise.

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    7. Be Careful When Choosing a Workout Partner

    Should you have a workout partner? That depends. Workout partners can help you stay motivated and make exercising more fun. But they can also stop you from reaching your goals.

    My suggestion would be to have a workout partner, but when you start to plateau (either in physical ability, weight loss/gain, or overall health) and you haven’t reached your goals, consider mixing things up a bit.

    If you plateau, you may need to make changes to continue improving. In this case it’s important to talk to your workout partner about the changes you want to make, and if they don’t seem motivated to continue, offer a thirty day break where you both try different activities.

    I notice that guys working out together tend to match strength after a brief adjustment phase. Even if both are trying to improve, something seems to stall improvement once they reach a certain point. I found that I was able to lift as much as 30-50% more after taking a short break from my regular workout partner.

    Final Thoughts

    Learning how to get in shape in as little as two weeks sounds daunting, but if you’re motivated and have the time and energy to devote to it, it’s certainly possible.

    Find an exercise routine that works for you, eat healthy, drink lots of water, and watch as the transformation begins.

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    Featured photo credit: Alexander Redl via unsplash.com

    Reference

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