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25 Beauty Hacks To Make You Look Like A Million Dollars

25 Beauty Hacks To Make You Look Like A Million Dollars

Makeup should be fun, not frustrating — and you definitely don’t need to fork over a bundle to look great. These 25 DIY beauty hacks are fast, easy, and will help you look amazing without spending a fortune. Save time, save money, and get gorgeous — really, what more can you ask for?

Hair

1. De-grease with baby powder

Wake up with greasy roots? Rub a pinch of talcum or baby powder between your fingertips, then scrunch your fingers along your roots. The powder will absorb the oil and mattify any shininess. Start with just a little powder, and add more if you need it.

2. Make your own dry shampoo


For easy “lived in” or “second day” hair, you can easily mix your own dry shampoo with ingredients from the supermarket and health food store. For light-colored locks, use corn starch, and for darker hair, choose cocoa powder. Then sweeten things up with a few drops of your favorite essential oil. Put it into a spice or salt shaker, shake it on your roots, and brush or finger-scrunch through your locks.

3. And your own leave-in conditioner!

You can create a DIY leave-in conditioner simply by diluting your normal conditioner with water in a spray bottle. Use a maximum of one part conditioner to three parts water; if it seems like it’s weighing down your tresses, add more water. You can use it after you shower to help detangle, or later in the day to fend off frizz.

4. Cover up split ends

Don’t have time (or cash) to head to the stylist for a trim? Use a little of your lotion to conceal your split ends — make it extra easy on yourself by just using what’s left on your hands after you’ve applied it to your bod. Pinch it through just the very ends of your hair to help damaged strands look healthy.

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5. Tame flyaways with a toothbrush

Stray hairs making your updo or braid a mess? Spritz a clean toothbrush with hairspray (it doesn’t have to be brand-new, a retired one will totally work!). Then, use the brush to gently catch and comb down flyaway strands. You’ll look polished in no time! And p.s.: If you want exactly the opposite — a textured, messy look — use a toothbrush to gently back brush or tease your locks. It’s way gentler than a comb, and will let you add texture to small sections of hair (like the pieces of a finished braid).

Eyes

6. Brighten eyes in an instant

Fake being wide-eyed and light up your face with just a dab of shiny loose powder (pearl works great on paler skin tones, while gold makes deeper skin gleam). Just stick your pinky in powdered eye shadow and gently press at the inner corner of each eye.

7. Master a perfect cat eye


Want a sexy, winged-out cat-eye? Instead of trying to use your eyeliner like a calligraphy pen (easier said than done, and let’s face it, it doesn’t sound that easy to begin with!), create an outline and fill it in. Use a fine-tipped liquid eyeliner to draw a wing up and out from the outer corner of your eye, then start a second line a little further in and connect it to your first one (like a tiny triangle). Next, draw a line starting near the inner corner of your eye that follows the curve of your eyelid and connects to your initial triangle. Now all you need to do is take your liner and fill in the shapes!

8. Create a sexy smoky eye

To keep smoky eyes from looking messy, use two shadow brushes. Apply your shadow with one brush, then use the second clean brush to blend the color outward. Using a clean brush lets you just soften the edges on the shadow you’ve already applied without putting down even more color.

9. Curl lashes perfectly

An eyelash curler’s an absolute must for super-size lashes, but to get the best results, heat it up a little before you use it. When you start doing your makeup, stick your eyelash curler in your bra or (if you’re sitting down) between your thighs. Awkward? A little. Easy? Um, yeah. Another option: If you’re blowdrying your hair, blast your curler for a few seconds (you want it warm, not hot). Then curl away!

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10. Nix clumpy mascara

Got mascara clumps? It would be great if you had an eyebrow brush or a clean mascara wand to get rid of them, but let’s be real, not a lot of us keep them around. What are you more likely to have that will also get rid of clumps in a snap? A clean toothbrush. Just use the very tips of the bristles to gently remove excess mascara and break up clumps. Bonus tip: Speaking of mascara, always apply it last. It will cover up any powder or shadow that has fallen onto your lashes, which a) hides all that messy stuff but also b) helps your lashes look thicker!

Skin

11. Instantly brighten your face


Blush helps you look fresh-faced and healthy, but it’s not a makeup bag staple. Want to give your face a mid-day lift? Dot your brightest (not darkest, brightest) lip color on the apples of your cheeks, then use your fingers to blend up and back. A matte lipstick works best, but anything from lip gloss to lip stain can help give your cheeks a pop of color.

12. Make your own bronzer

Want to brighten up your face or body? You can actually whip up a quick bronzing powder right in your kitchen. Combine 1 tablespoon of cinnamon, 2 teaspoons of cornstarch, 1 teaspoon of nutmeg, and 1 teaspoon of cocoa powder until evenly mixed. Use a large makeup brush to lightly dust the mixture everywhere you want to glow. (Bonus: In case you didn’t guess already, yes, this stuff smells great.) Want to use it all over? Mix it in with your lotion, then just rub it in.

13. Clear pores with a DIY mask


Blast your blackheads with a super-easy and super-cheap DIY mask. Simply mix 1 tablespoon of baking soda (not powder) with one tablespoon of juice from an orange (not OJ — squeeze an actual orange!). Apply a nice thick layer to your face, let it sit for about 20 minutes, then use a damp wash cloth to take it off.

14. Fake extra definition

Here’s an easy way to make your arms and legs look more toned without hitting the gym (though if you’ve been hitting the gym, this will really help you show off your results). Before applying lotion, mix in a little highlighter — liquid is best, but if you use a powder that will work too. The extra gleam catches light and helps give your muscles extra definition.

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15. Fix self-tanner mix-ups

It’s easy to go too strong with self-tanner, especially on your hands, feet, and elbows. To dial your tan down a notch, mix a cup of water with a half a cup of lemon juice and a tablespoon of baking soda. Use a loofah, sponge, or even an old toothbrush (great for cuticles and knuckles) to gently exfoliate — and lighten up — blotches and dark spots.

Lips

16. Get a fuller pout

Get fuller-looking lips by applying shimmery eye shadow in the center of your lower lip. Once you’ve applied your lip color, stamp your thumb in some frosted, glittery eye shadow. Make a kissy face, and press your thumb (pointed up, like you’re giving your own face the thumbs up) right onto the center of your lips. Having the light-reflecting color at the center of your lips creates the illusion of a fuller pout, and as a bonus, the powder helps set your lip color.

17. Define with concealer

You think about lining your lips to give them shape, but what about the areas around your mouth? Applying concealer strategically around the corners and at the base of your philtrum (the indent between your nose and the middle of your upper lip) can help define your smile and give you a more pronounced cupid’s bow. Just don’t go too thick — a little dab will do ya.

18. Give lip gloss staying power

Sure, you can seal lipstick with powder, but what about gloss? Adding powder to a shiny, wet look is a no-go. Instead of sealing on top, work from the bottom up by creating a sturdy base for lip gloss to cling to. Use lip liner in a complementary color to your gloss to line your lips, then fill them in. A liner that looks like a chubby crayon will usually be more comfortable (less dry!) than one that looks like a pencil. Then apply your gloss on top of your lip liner base.

19. Mix any lip color


You can make a colorful lip pigment in any hue using stuff you may well have sitting around in your bathroom now (good for every day, extra good for occasions when you need something that’s just right and don’t want to spend a fortune). You just need a loose powder eye shadow in your chosen color, and some lip balm — regular un-tinted stuff works great. Put a little of the lip balm into an empty pill container (or anything else that’s small and sealable — that way, you can take it with you later for touch-ups). Then shake a little of the powder onto it. Mix well, until the powder is evenly distributed through the balm, then apply using a lip brush or your finger.

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20. Create a perfect Cupid’s bow

Want to give your upper lip extra definition? Using a lip liner that matches your the lip color you’ll be wearing, draw an “X” right at the center of your upper lip. The top two “arms” of the X should follow the line of your Cupid’s bow, and will make it perfectly pointy and defined. Apply the rest of your lip makeup as normal, and you’re good to go!

Nails

21. Prep nails in an instant

After you’ve removed your old polish and before you get going with a new one, wipe off your nails with a paper towel dampened with vinegar (any kind of vinegar will work). The vinegar will whisk away any leftover oils and polish remover, giving you a clean, clear surface. This will help prevent bubbles in your new polish and help it adhere better, for neater nail color that lasts longer.

22. Do an easy multi-colored mani


Get a quick ombre manicure by applying all of the colors you want at once. Cut up a few makeup sponges until you’ve got 10 squares or rectangles (each just needs to be large enough to cover one nail). Using you different polish hues, paint three lines right next to each other on each sponge — your darkest color, you medium tone, then the lightest hue. Press the sponge directly onto your nail and voila! A graduated mani without having to do each color one by one.

23. Dry your nails faster

If you don’t want to sit around waiting for your nails to dry (which is as fun as it sounds), before you start your mani, empty a tray of ice cubes into a large bowl of cold water. Once your nails are done, air dry them for three minutes, then dunk them into the ice bath for another three. (Sitting by a fan or waving your hands around just creates air bubbles.) Your polish will harden up and you’ll be good to go.

24. Fix smudged polish

Couldn’t sit still that long? If you smudge a nail while the polish is still wet, you can fix it without leaving a mark by gently licking your nail. Yes, it tastes gross (you really want to just barely lick it, you should NOT ingest nail polish!) but
it’s way faster than redoing your work.

25. Get perfect cuticles

Got dry, chapped cuticles? Moisturize them with a little bit of lip balm — any type will work, but balm that’s petroleum jelly-based (look for stuff that’s in a pot rather than stick, and isn’t completely opaque) does the best job. Unlike with cuticle cream, which you maybe remember to use if you’re actually doing your nails, it’s easy to get in the habit of rubbing a little lip balm around your nails any time you’re moisturizing your lips. Extra tip: You can also apply lip balm to your cuticles pre-manicure to keep excess nail polish from sticking to them.

Featured photo credit: Andy Rennie via flickr.com

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Published on November 14, 2018

Why You Suffer from Constant Fatigue and How to Deal with It

Why You Suffer from Constant Fatigue and How to Deal with It

With our busy, always on lives, it seems that more and more of us are facing constant tiredness and fatigue on a regular basis.

For many people, they just take this in their stride as part of modern life, but for others the impact can be crippling and can have a serious effect on their sense of wellbeing, health and productivity.

In this article, I’ll share some of the most common causes of constant tiredness and fatigue and give you some guidance and action steps you can take to overcome some of the symptoms of fatigue.

Why Am I Feeling Fatigued?

Fatigue is extreme tiredness resulting from mental or physical exertion or illness.  It is a reduction in the efficiency of a muscle or organ after prolonged activity.[1]

It can affect anyone, and most adults will experience fatigue at some point in their life. 

For many people, fatigue is caused by a combination of lifestyle, social, psychological and general wellbeing issues rather than an underlying medical condition.

Although fatigue is sometimes described as tiredness, it is different to just feeling tired or sleepy. Everyone feels tired at some point, but this is usually resolved with a nap or a few nights of good sleep. Someone who is sleepy may also feel temporarily refreshed after exercising. If you are getting enough sleep, good nutrition and exercising regularly but still find it hard to perform, concentrate or be motivated at your normal levels, you may be experiencing a level of fatigue that needs further investigation. 

Symptoms of Fatigue

Fatigue can cause a vast range of physical, mental and emotional symptoms including:

  • chronic tiredness, exhaustion or sleepiness
  • mental blocks
  • lack of motivation
  • headache
  • dizziness
  • muscle weakness
  • slowed reflexes and responses
  • impaired decision-making and judgement
  • moodiness, such as irritability
  • impaired hand-to-eye coordination
  • reduced immune system function
  • blurry vision
  • short-term memory problems
  • poor concentration
  • reduced ability to pay attention to the situation at hand

Causes of Fatigue

The wide range of causes that can trigger fatigue include:

  • Medical causes: Constant exhaustion, tiredness and fatigue may be a sign of an underlying illness, such as a thyroid disorder, heart disease, anemia or diabetes.
  • Lifestyle-related causes: Being overweight and a lack of regular exercise can lead to feelings of fatigue.  Lack of sleep and overcommitting can also create feelings of excessive tiredness and fatigue.
  • Workplace-related causes: Workplace and financial stress in a variety of forms can lead to feelings of fatigue.
  • Emotional concerns and stress: Fatigue is a common symptom of mental health problems, such as depression and grief, and may be accompanied by other signs and symptoms, including irritability and lack of motivation.

Fatigue can also be caused by a number of factors working in combination.

Medical Causes of Fatigue

If you have made lifestyle changes to increase your energy and still feel exhausted and fatigued, it may be time to seek guidance from your doctor.

Here are a few examples of illnesses that can cause ongoing fatigue. Seek medical advice if you suspect you have a health problem:

Anemia

Anemia is a condition in which you don’t have enough healthy red blood cells to carry adequate oxygen to the body’s tissues. It is a common cause of fatigue in women.

Having anemia may make you feel tired and weak.

There are many forms of anemia, each with its own cause. Anemia can be temporary or long term, and it can range from mild to severe.[2]

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) is a condition that can cause persistent, unexplained fatigue that interferes with daily activities for more than six months.

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This is a chronic condition with no one-size-fits-all treatment, but lifestyle changes can often help ease some symptoms of fatigue.[3]

Diabetes

Diabetes can cause fatigue with either high or low blood sugars. When your sugars are high, they remain in the bloodstream instead of being used for energy, which makes you feel fatigued. Low blood sugar (glucose) means you may not have enough fuel for energy, also causing fatigue.[4]

Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is a serious sleep disorder where sufferers briefly stop breathing for short periods during sleep. Most people are not aware this is happening, but it can cause loud snoring, and daytime fatigue.

Being overweight, smoking, and drinking alcohol can all worsen the symptoms of sleep apnea.[5]

Thyroid disease

An underactive thyroid gland means you have too little thyroid hormone (thyroxine) in your body. This makes you feel tired and you could also put on weight and have aching muscles and dry skin.[6]

Common lifestyle factors that can cause fatigue include:

  • Lack of sleep
  • Too much sleep 
  • Alcohol and drugs 
  • Sleep disturbances 
  • Lack of regular exercise and sedentary behaviour 
  • Poor diet 

Common workplace issues that can cause fatigue include:

  • Shift work: Our body is designed to sleep during the night. A shift worker may confuse their circadian clock by working when their body is programmed to be asleep.
  • Poor workplace practices: This may include long work hours, hard physical labour, irregular working hours (such as rotating shifts), a stressful work environment, boredom or working alone. 
  • Workplace stress – This can be caused by a wide range of factors including job dissatisfaction, heavy workload, conflicts with bosses or colleagues, bullying, or threats to job security.
  • Burnout: This could be striving too hard on one area of your life while neglecting others, which leads to a life that feels out of balance.

Psychological Causes of Fatigue

Psychological factors are present in many cases of extreme tiredness and fatigue.  These may include:

  • Depression: Depression is characterised by severe and prolonged feelings of sadness, dejection and hopelessness. People who are depressed commonly experience chronic fatigue.
  • Anxiety and stress: Someone who is constantly anxious or stressed keeps their body in overdrive. The constant flooding of adrenaline exhausts the body, and fatigue sets in.
  • Grief: Losing a loved one causes a wide range of emotions including shock, guilt, depression, despair and loneliness.

How to Tackle Constant Fatigue

Here are 12 ways you can start tackling the causes of fatigue and start feeling more energetic.

1. Tell The Truth

Some people can numb themselves to the fact that they are overtired or fatigued all the time. In the long run, this won’t help you.

To give you the best chance to overcome or eliminate fatigue, you must diagnose and tell the truth about the things that are draining your energy, making you tired or causing constant fatigue.

Once you’re honest with yourself about the activities you’re doing in your life that you find irritating, energy-draining, and make you tired on a regular basis you can make a commitment to stop doing them.

The help that you need to overcome fatigue is available to you, but not until you tell the truth about it. The first person you have to sell on getting rid of the causes of fatigue is yourself.

One starting point is to diagnose the symptoms. When you start feeling stressed, overtired or just not operating at your normal energy levels make a note of:

  • How you feel
  • What time of day it is
  • What may have contributed to your fatigue
  • How your mind and body reacts

This analysis may help you identify, understand and then eliminate very specific causes.

2. Reduce Your Commitments

When we have too many things on our plate personally and professionally, we can feel overstretched, causing physical and mental fatigue.

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If you have committed to things you really don’t want to do, this causes irritability and low emotional engagement. Stack these up throughout your day and week, then your stress levels will rise.

When these commitments have deadlines associated with them, you may be trying to cram in far too much in a short period of time.  This creates more stress and can affect your decision making ability.

Start being realistic about how much you can get done. Either reduce the commitments you have or give yourself more time to complete them in.

3. Get Clear On Your Priorities

If working on your list of to-do’s or goals becomes too overwhelming, start reducing and prioritizing the things that matter most.

Start with prioritizing just 3 things every day. When you complete those 3 things, you’ll get a rush of energy and your confidence will grow.

If you’re trying to juggle too many things and are multi-tasking, your energy levels will drop and you’ll struggle to maintain focus.

Unfinished projects can make you self-critical and feel guilty which drops energy levels further, creating inaction.

Make a list of your 3 MIT (Most Important Tasks) for the next day before you go to bed. This will stop you overcommitting and get you excited about what the next day can bring.

4. Express More Gratitude

Gratitude and confidence are heavily linked. Just being thankful for what you have and what you’ve achieved increases confidence and makes you feel more optimistic.

It can help you improve your sense of wellbeing, which can bring on feelings of joy and enthusiasm.

Try starting a gratitude journal or just note down 3 things you’re grateful for every day.

5. Focus On Yourself

Exhaustion and fatigue can arrive by focusing solely on other people’s needs all the time, rather than worrying about and focusing on what you need (and want).

There are work commitments, family commitments, social commitments. You may start with the best intentions, to put in your best performance at work, to be an amazing parent and friend, to simply help others.

But sometimes, we extend ourselves too much and go beyond our personal limits to help others. That’s when constant exhaustion can creep up on us.  Which can make us more fatigued.

We all want to help and do our best for others, but there needs to be some balance. We also need to take some time out just for ourselves to recharge and rejuvenate.

6. Set Aside Rest and Recovery Time

Whether it’s a couple of hours, a day off, a mini-break or a proper holiday, time off is essential to help us recover, recharge and refocus.

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Recovery time helps fend off mental fatigue and allows us to simply kick back and relax.

The key here, though, is to remove ourselves from the daily challenges that bring on tiredness and fatigue. Here’s how.

Can you free yourself up completely from work and personal obligations to just rest and recover?

7. Take a Power Nap

When you’re feeling tired or fatigued and you have the ability to take a quick 20-minute nap, it could make a big difference to your performance for the rest of the day.

Napping can improve learning, memory and boost your energy levels quickly.

This article on the benefit of napping is a useful place to start if you want to learn more: How a 20-Minute Nap at Work Makes You Awake and Productive the Whole Day

8. Take More Exercise

The simple act of introducing some form of physical activity into your day can make a huge difference. It can boost energy levels, make you feel much better about yourself and can help you avoid fatigue.

Find something that fits into your life, be that walking, going to the gym, running or swimming. 

The key is to ensure the exercise is regular and that you are emotionally engaged and committed to stick with it.

You could also walk more which will help clear your head and shift your focus away from stressful thoughts.

9. Get More Quality Sleep

To avoid tiredness, exhaustion and fatigue, getting enough quality sleep matters. 

Your body needs sleep to recharge.  Getting the right amount of sleep every night can improve your health, reduce stress levels and help us improve our memory and learning skills.

My previous article on The Benefits of Sleep You Need to Know will give you some action steps to start improving your sleep. 

10. Improve Your Diet

Heavy or fatty meals can make you feel sluggish and tired, whilst some foods or eating strategies do just the opposite.

Our always on lives have us reaching for sweets or other sugary snacks to give us a burst of energy to keep going. Unfortunately, that boost fades quickly which can leave you feeling depleted and wanting more.

On the other hand, whole grains and healthy unsaturated fats supply the reserves you can draw on throughout the day.

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To keep energy up and steady, it’s a good idea to limit refined sugar and starches.

Eating small meals and healthy snacks every few hours throughout the day provides a steady supply of nutrients to body and brain. It’s also important not to skip breakfast.

Eating a balanced diet helps keep your blood sugar in a normal range and prevents that sluggish feeling when your blood sugar drops.

11. Manage Your Stress Levels

Stress is one of the leading causes of exhaustion and fatigue, and can seriously affect your health.

When you have increased levels of stress at work and at home, it’s easy to feel exhausted all the time. 

Identifying the causes of stress and then tackling the problems should be a priority. 

My article on How to Help Anxiety When Life is Stressing You Out shares 16 strategies you can use to overcome stress.

12. Get Hydrated

Sometimes we can be so busy that we forget to keep ourselves fully hydrated.

Water makes up about 60 percent of your body weight and is essential in maintaining our body’s basic functions.

If we don’t have enough water, it can adversely affect our mental and physical performance, which leads to tiredness and fatigue.

The recommended daily amount is around two litres a day, so to stay well hydrated keep a water bottle with you as much as possible.

The Bottom Line

These 12 tips can help you reduce your tiredness and feeling of fatigue.  Some will work better than others as we are all different, whilst others can be incorporated together in your daily life.

If you’ve tried to make positive changes to reduce fatigue and you still feel tired and exhausted, it may be time to consider making an appointment with your doctor to discuss your condition.

Featured photo credit: Annie Spratt via unsplash.com

Reference

[1]Oxford English Dictionary: Definition of fatigue
[2]NHS Choices: 10 Reasons for feeling tired
[3]Verywellhealth: What is chronic fatigue syndrome
[4]Everyday Health: Why does type 2 diabetes make you feel tired
[5]Mayo Clinic: Sleep apnea
[6]Harvard Health: The lowdown on thyroid slowdown

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