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21 Affordable and Natural DIY Beauty Tricks

21 Affordable and Natural DIY Beauty Tricks

If you’re looking for environmentally-friendly natural beauty methods that don’t cost a bundle, we have good news: You can treat yourself from head to toe with stuff that you’ve probably already got in your kitchen. Here are 21 couldn’t-be-easier beauty hacks that are 100 percent natural and totally affordable.

Hair

1. Moisturize tired tresses

Hair that’s colored, highlighted, or regularly heat-styled (like with a curling iron or flat iron) can get dried out. Give your mane a moisturizing mask right from your refrigerator. In a bowl, mash together one banana and one avocado until the mixture has a smooth, even texture. Use a wide-tooth comb to distribute the mixture evenly through clean, damp hair, then pop on a shower cap (you want the mask on your hair, not your clothes or furniture). Wait at least 15 minutes, then hop in the shower and rinse.

2. Make beachy waves anywhere

A beach day’s great, but if you don’t have the time (or a conveniently located ocean), you can get the look with grocery store ingredients. Make your own salt spray by mixing a teaspoon of sea salt into 20 ounces of seltzer. Put it into a spray bottle and spritz liberally while scrunching your hair. Another option for major waves: Coat your strands in your DIY salt spray, then braid hair (two French braids are best). Let your locks dry out, then unbraid your tresses for serious mermaid hair.

3. Prevent split ends

Coconut oil is kind of a magic bullet when it comes to DIY beauty hacks — there’s so much you can use it for, and you can pretty much put it all over. It’s rich in fatty acids and proteins, so it’s great for keeping hair hydrated. Rub just a little bit between your fingertips — seriously, just a dab is plenty — and use it as a treat for the ends of your hair, pinching it into the ends. It’ll help keep your style neat and prevent damage without weighing down your locks, so this hack will work even for fine hair.

4. Fix discolored pool hair

If you’ve been spending your summer days in the pool (or even if you have really hard water!), chlorine and other chemicals can tint your tresses green. Yuck! To tone it down, take some tomato juice into the shower with you — you’ll need at least 8 ounces, though long hair may require more. Massage the juice through your locks, then let it sit for about 15 minutes. That gives the acids in the tomato juice time to nix the chemical residue. Rinse it out, then shampoo and condition as usual.

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5. Get a head full of curls

We’ve all heard bouncy, Shirley Temple-style hair described as “corkscrew curls,” but if you’ve got leftover wine corks around the house, you can actually use them as curlers. You can use them exactly as you’d use a regular curler — wrap a 1-inch strand of damp hair around a cork, then use bobby pins to secure it in place. When you’re done, hit it with a hair dryer until completely dry, then unroll your curls. We’re not saying it’s a license to drink more wine, but hey, it’s a reason to hang onto your corks.

6. Amp up blonde highlights

Spritzing your hair with lemon juice has long been a trick for lightening your locks, but the results can be brassy. To lighten and brighten blonde hair more gently, try chamomile tea. There’s a reason you often see chamomile as an ingredient in color-boosting shampoos and conditioners — it’s a gentle color booster for blonde, with chemicals that are easier on tresses than the citric acid in lemons (though admittedly, many chamomile blends include some citrus). To do, brew up a cup of strong chamomile tea — just leave the tea bag be and let it keep steeping while the tea cools off. Once it’s cool, comb it through your hair everywhere you want it lighter. Then either sit outside or blow-dry until your tresses are completely dry for bright, non-brassy color.

7. Boost red or brown hair

Not a blonde? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. To give red or brown hair — including color-treated strands — more pop, do a rinse with cranberry juice. After washing your hair, thoroughly saturate your damp tresses with cranberry juice (real cranberry juice is better than cranberry cocktail, but technically either will work). The longer you leave it on, the bolder your results. The only caveat: Unlike lightening your strands, this isn’t permanent (it’ll last through 1 or 2 washes).

8. Get shinier strands

Hair looking dull from overstyling? An easy DIY clarifying rinse will do the trick (and save you money compared to buying a clarifying shampoo). Mix a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar into a half cup of water (double the receipt for longer locks). Using a wide-tooth comb, spread the mixture evenly through damp hair. The vinegar’s acidity helps seal up your hair’s cuticles, making your strands look shiny and healthy. After letting it sit for five minutes, rinse your hair with cold water to get the most benefit — heat will encourage the cuticles to open up again.

Face

9. Clean skin naturally

Apple cider vinegar can help your face, too. Here however, you can take advantage of its astringent properties to reduce shine. Put a little on a cotton ball or makeup pad, and swipe all over your face as a toner. If you’ve got combination skin, just focus on your T-zone (across your forehead, and down the middle of your face including nose and chin) to take down any oiliness.

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10. Send under-eye bags packing

Didn’t get enough sleep last night? If you want to look like you got your beauty sleep, it’s all about caffeine — but not the way you might think. Soak two tea bags (black tea or green tea, as long as it’s caffeinated) in ice water for a few minutes. Squeeze them out (so tea’s not running all over the place), then apply directly to your eyes and leave ’em there for at least 5 minutes. You can place them over your entire eye area, or just under your eyes. The combo of the caffeine and the cold nixes puffiness and dark circles.

11. Get an extra bright smile

There are baking soda toothpastes out there, and there’s always the option of brushing with just baking soda, but an effective combo is to sprinkle a little baking soda on your toothpaste before brushing your teeth. It’ll help remove surface stains (like from coffee or wine) and can get into spaces your brush can’t reach. Just be sure to rinse thoroughly when you’re through!

12. Plump up your pout

Want a natural way to get fuller lips? Moisturize your kisser while boosting volume with this simple concoction: Add a little pinch of cinnamon to a few drops of almond oil, then massage into your lips. Want to go extra-tingly (and extra-plump)? Do half almond oil, half peppermint oil with the cinnamon.

13. Make a moisturizing face mask

There are lots of DIY mask options that you can make with natural ingredients from your kitchen for almost ever dilemma your face, well, faces. This one’s an amazing moisturizer, perfect for skin that parched from staying out late or hitting the beach all day (or both). Mash up half an avocado with 1-2 teaspoons of raw honey, and layer it onto your face. Relax for 10 minutes or so, then rinse clean with a wash cloth.

14. Put pimples on ice

Feel a zit coming on? Pop an ice cube in a sandwich bag and hold it right on the little bugger. Try to hold it for at least five minutes, more if you can (we know, it’s cold). The ice will help decrease the inflammation, so the pimple will be less prominent and less red. If it’s cystic acne (those painful, deep, under-the-skin zits), the ice will also help numb away the physical pain.

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15. Exfoliate and brighten your complexion

Kiwis are such adorable, fuzzy little fruits — but dealing with all those little seeds can be a pain in the you-know-what. Put those seeds to your advantage with this one-ingredient facial fix. Peel a ripe kiwi, slice it up, then mash the slices with a fork — just mix all those little seeds into it. Scoop it up with your fingers, and work the paste all over your clean, damp face, rubbing with a circular motion. All those tiny seeds are perfect exfoliators, banishing dead skin cells, plus all of the vitamin C helps improve your skin texture and fight free radicals. Scrub for 60 seconds, then rinse your face with warm water.

16. Treat sun-damaged skin

This yummy and easy serum is perfect for soothing spots that have gotten too much sun — it’s perfect for your nose and forehead, but also for shoulders and the upper torso. Squeeze juice from a slice of ripe watermelon, then take one tablespoon of your watermelon juice and mix it thoroughly with a tablespoon of raw honey. Apply where needed to moisturize and soothe irritated skin. Let your serum sit for 20 minutes or so, then gently rinse it away with cool water.

Body

17. Get a smoother bod

Heard about how terrible those little beads you see in exfoliating scrubs are for the environment? Get smooth, glowing skin naturally by mixing up your own scrub. Mix equal parts sugar (white or brown works, but coarser is better — think raw, not refined) and olive or almond oil. If you’d like a scent, add a few drops of your favorite essential oil — peppermint is especially refreshing. Then exfoliate by rubbing the mixture all over your skin. To get the most benefit, massage it around for a few minutes before rinsing off.

18. Treat your hands

Your hands work hard all day! Give them a break with an ultra-rich natural treatment. Mix one tablespoon of honey — a natural humectant, i.e. moisturizer — into one cup of plain yogurt. Slather all over your hands, let it sit for a few minutes, then rinse off and enjoy your soft, renewed skin.

19. Give your deodorant back up

Want to be sure you’re absolutely, positively BO-free? Top off your deodorant with a light dusting of baking soda (just a pinch, since you don’t want to powder your clothes). It does the same thing for your pits that it does for your fridge, neutralizing and absorbing odors.

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20. Soothe stressed skin

To relieve dry, itchy skin, make yourself an oatmeal bath. Sounds crazy, but it works! To do it, just add 1 to 2 cups of dry oatmeal to a warm bath. The water releases the oats’ natural fats and complex sugars. These turn into a thin, moisturizing jelly (you’ll be able to see it in the surface of the water but trust us, it’s a good thing), which soothes dryness, itchiness, and redness.

21. Scrub your feet smooth

Exfoliate your feet and grind away at those calluses with this easy DIY scrub. Put half a cup of walnuts in a food processor and pulse until they’re finely ground. Then mix the nuts into a cup of plain yogurt. The yogurt moisturizes, while the nuts exfoliate (and again, are much better for the environment than those beads). Even better: As you work on your feet, you’re exfoliating your hands too… unless you’ve got someone else rubbing it into your feet, in which case you’re super-relaxed and hey, they’re getting smoother hands!

Featured photo credit: Kim Love via flickr.com

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Last Updated on November 11, 2019

How to Improve Memory and Boost Your Brainpower

How to Improve Memory and Boost Your Brainpower

Have you ever noticed that some people are able to effortlessly remember even the most mundane details and quickly comprehend new things? Well, you can too!

To unlock the full potential of your brain, you need to keep it active and acute. Wasting time on your couch watching mindless television shows or scrolling through facebook is not going to help.

Besides getting out flashcards, what can you do to help remember things better and learn new things more quickly? Check out these 10 effective ways on how to improve memory:

1. Exercise and Get Your Body Moving

Exercising doesn’t just exercise the body, it also helps to exercise your brain. Obesity and the myriad of diseases that eventually set in as a result of being overweight can cause serious harm to the brain.

Furthermore, without regular exercise, plaque starts to build up in your arteries, and your blood vessels begin to lose the ability to effectively pump blood. Plaque buildup leads to heart attacks and it also reduces the amount of oxygen and nutrients that your blood carries to your brain. When the nutrients don’t make it there, the brain’s ability to function is compromised.

To prevent this from happening, make sure you get moving every day. Even if it’s just a brisk walk, it’ll help you maintain and increase your mental acuity. Brisk walking, swimming and dancing are all excellent activities. Take a look at these 5 Ways to Find Time for Exercise.

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2. Eliminate Stressors and Seek Help If You’re Depressed

Anything that causes you major stress, like anger or anxiety, will in time begin to eat away the parts of your brain that are responsible for memory. Amongst the most brain-damaging stressors is depression, which is actually often misdiagnosed a a memory problem since one of its primary symptoms is the inability to concentrate.

If you can’t concentrate, then you might feel like you are constantly forgetting things. Depression increases the levels of cortisol in your bloodstream which elevates the cortisol levels in the brain. Doctors have found that increased cortisol diminishes certain areas of the brain, especially the hippocampus which is where short-term memories are stored.

Prolonged depression can thus destroy your brain’s ability to remember anything new. Seek professional help to combat your depression – your brain will thank you.

3. Get a Good Night’s Sleep and Take Naps

Getting a consistent 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night will increase your memory. During sleep, the brain firms up memories of recently acquired information.

Getting enough sleep will help you get through the full spectrum of nocturnal cycles that are essential to optimal brain and body functioning during the waking hours. Taking a nap throughout the day, especially after learning something new, can also help you to retain those memories as well as recharge your brain and keep it sharper longer.

4. Feed Your Brain

Fifty to sixty percent of the brain’s overall weight is pure fat, which is used to insulate its billions of nerve cells. The better insulated a cell is, the faster it can send messages and the quicker you will be thinking.

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This is precisely why parents are advised to feed their young children whole milk and to restrict dieting – their brains’ need fat to grow and work properly. Skimping on fats can be devastating even to the adult brain.

Thus, eating foods that contain a healthy mix of fats is vital for long-term memory. Some excellent food choices include fish (especially anchovies, mackerel and wild salmon) and dark leafy green vegetables. Here’re more brain food choices: 12 Foods that Can Improve Your Brain Power

Deep-fried foods obviously contain fat but their lack of nutritional value is not going to help your brain or your body, so think healthy foods and fats.

5. Eat Breakfast and Make Sure It Includes an Egg

According to Larry McCleary, M.D., author of  The Brain Trust Program, an egg is the ideal breakfast. Eggs contain B vitamins which help nerve cells to burn glucose, antioxidants that protect neurons against damage; and omega-3 fatty acids that keep nerve cells firing at optimal speed.

Other foods to add to your breakfast include fruits, veggies and lean proteins. Avoid trans fats and high fructose corn syrup. Trans fats diminish the brain cells’ ability to communicate with each other and HFCS can actually shrink the brain by damaging cells.

Having a healthy breakfast in the morning has been shown to improve performance throughout the day. If you’re too busy to have a healthy breakfast, this maybe just right for you: 33 Quick And Healthy Breakfasts For Busy Mornings

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6. Write it Down

If there’s something you want to remember, writing it down can help.

It may sound like a no-brainer, but do you really know why? Writing it down creates oxygenated blood flow to areas of your brain that a responsible for your memories and literally exercises those parts of it. Here’s How Writing Things Down Can Change Your Life.

You can start a journal, write yourself emails or even start keeping a blog – all of these activities will help to improve your capacity to remember and memorize information.

7. Listen to Music

Research shows that certain types of music are very helpful in recalling memories. Information that is learned while listening to a particular song or collection can often be recalled by thinking of the song or “playing” it mentally. Songs and music can serve as cues for pulling up particular memories.

8. Visual Concepts

In order to remember things, many people need to visualize the information they are studying.

Pay attention to photographers, charts and other graphics that might appear in your textbook; or if you’re not studying a book, try to pull up a mental image of what it is you are trying to remember. It might also help to draw your own charts or figures, or utilize colors and highlighters to group related ideas in your notes.

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Here, you can learn How to Become a Person Who Can Visualize Results.

9. Teach Someone Else

Reading material out loud has been shown to significantly improve memory of the material. Expanding further upon this idea is the fact that psychologists and educators have found that by having students teach new concepts to others, it helps to enhance understanding and recall.

Teach new concepts and information to a friend or study partner, and you’ll find you remember the information a lot better.

10. Do Crossword Puzzles, Read or Play Cards

Studies have shown that doing crossword puzzles, read or play cards on a daily basis not only keep your brain active but also help to delay memory loss, especially in those who develop dementia.

So pick up the daily newspaper and work on that crossword puzzle, read a book or enjoy a game of solitaire.

Pick one to two of these tips first and start applying them to your everyday life. Very soon you’ll find yourself having better memories and a clearer head!

More About Boosting Memory

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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