Category:  diy

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10 Of The Very Best Beauty Hacks

By | body, diy, favorites, hair, makeup | 9 Comments

I love a good beauty hack (but then again, who does’t?). From multipurpose products to household items that work just as well – if not better – than expensive store-bought products to application tricks that cut down on your getting ready time, beauty hacks are indispensable to a well-rounded, efficient beauty routine.

While we all have our go-to beauty tricks, here are 10 of the very best beauty hacks for hair, skin, and body:

1. Baby Powder isn’t just for babies. While baby powder has been widely used as a substitute for dry shampoo (a little on the scalp, rub in, flip, and go), it’s also an effective way to curb sweat – from underarms to between your legs (especially in hot and humid climates when your thighs tend to chafe).
TRY: Burt’s Bees Baby Bee Dusting Powder for a natural, healthier baby powder alternative.

2. Is your hair plagued with frizz and flyaways? Take a good old fashioned dryer sheet from your laundry room and gently run it over your hair to tame the frizzes. Works like magic.
TRY: Seventh Generation Natural Fabric Softener Sheets. All-natural is always a better option.

3. Want beachy curls while you sleep? The SoCal Curls contraption will give you better waves than a curling iron. And it does it all while you’re getting your snooze on. I do recommend watching the tutorial first (here).
BUY here.

4. Mascara makes a marvelous liquid eyeliner. It’s true – you’ve got a great, pigmented formula for the taking! Just dip an angled brush onto the mascara wand and apply to your lash line. Use the same mascara on your lashes for a perfect pairing of color and consistency. The waterproof mascaras work like a charm.
TRY: Benefit’s Bad Gal Waterproof Mascara with Make Up For Ever’s Angled Eyeliner Brush.

5. For an all-over, dewy, model-like complexion, mix a dollop of liquid highlighter in with your face moisturizer. If you want coverage and dewiness, combine the highlighter with your favorite foundation, BB cream, or tinted moisturizer.
TRY: Burberry Fresh Glow Luminous Fluid (seriously, the best).

6. I’ve raved about my obsession with lipstick as blush here and here (video included). But did you know that if you add a very small amount of Elizabeth Arden 8 Hour Cream to your cheeks prior to rubbing on the lipstick (or any cream blush for that matter), it’ll actually blend much better – without all of the pulling and tugging. And 8 Hour Cream leaves a gorgeous glow on the skin, so it’s really a two-for-one. You can also use the excess on your lips and a dab on the eyes gives that glossy lid look.
BUY here.

7. Setting your lipstick really does work, especially when going for a bold, colorful hue. And the same trick is applicable to transitioning a glossier formula to that which is more matte. Here’s how you do it: place a tissue over your lipstick-painted pout. Using a brush and a translucent powder, gently dust the powder over the tissue. And voila! Mattified, long lasting color. Use the powder on the rest of your face to set your makeup as well. Just make sure you’re choosing a colorless formula.
TRY: Laura Mercier Mineral Finishing Powder

8. Coconut oil is good for everything, from makeup remover to body moisturizer. But one of my absolute favorite uses for the all-natural oil is as a healthy shaving cream. It actually works better than the store-bought ones! And while you have your tub of coconut oil in the bath, apply to the ends of your hair as a DIY treatment (a favorite of Khloe Kardashian).
TRY: Garden of Life Extra Virgin Coconut Oil (it’s organic!).

9. If you’re a fan of hairspray – I’m all about L’Oreal’s Elnett Satin Hairspray (if you don’t own a can, you’re seriously missing out) – then use it to keep unruly brows in place as well. While brow gels are effective, uncooperative brow hairs like mine need something stronger from time to time. Hairspray is the answer. Spray onto a spooly and brush onto brows in an upward motion.
BUY here.

10. If you’re wearing a bold lip – red included – chances are, color will end up on your teeth. And this is a beauty no-no. So ensure that the color stays off by using these two quick and easy post-lipstick steps. 1 – Put your finger in your mouth and pull it out. You’ll be amazed how much lipstick ends up on the inner part of your lip (which would undoubtedly have ended up on your pearly whites). 2 – Coat your teeth with a thin layer of vaseline or Elizabeth Arden 8 Hour Cream (yet another use for the multipurpose balm). Misplaced lipstick will slide right off. Plus, this professional trick is a red carpet favorite as the coated teeth actually glisten when you smile.

Have a genius beauty hack… Let us know in the comments below!

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DIY Earth Tu Face Lavender Whipped Body Oil

By | diy | No Comments
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Changing weather means lots of skin freak-outs, including plenty of dryness.  Sarah and Marina, the two herbalists behind the purely plant-based, 100% natural skincare line Earth Tu Face, shared this ridiculously simple DIY body oil recipe to solve our woes.  Seriously…it’s as easy as 1-2-3.  Since their Skin Stick ($34) is our favorite do-it-all balm, we knew this recipe would live up to our standards (and yours!), and it absolutely did not disappoint.

What You’ll Need: 
2 ounces organic virgin coconut oil
3 ounces organic virgin olive oil
30-40 drops of lavender essential oil 

Benefits of the Ingredients:
Coconut Oil – Richly hydrating but also cooling for the skin.  Because it is high in antioxidants, it prevents destructive free-radical activity (known to be the primary cause of aging). It lightens skin spots, blemishes, and scars thanks to lots of vitamin E.
Olive Oil – This ingredient is very similar to our skin’s own natural oil, and is easily absorbed.  It is rich in minerals, vitamins and essential fatty acids to hydrate without clogging pores.
Lavender – Beneficial for a multitude of skin irritations, including scars, burns, sun damage and blemishes.  Fantastic de-stresser.

Instructions:
Combine all ingredients and whisk briskly in a medium size bowl.  Store in a glass jar with a tight lid to keep the formula fresh.

TIP: Use this delicious formula right before bed to take advantage of the calming lavender scent.  After coating your bod in this and taking a few deep breaths, you’ll be out before you know it!

 

-Casey Sharbaugh is the blogger behind www.comfortablycasey.com

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DIY: Drunk Elephant Tropical Brightening Face Mask

By | diy, skin | One Comment
mask ingredients

 

Although we have an absolute bevy of face masks that we love and adore (like these here), can anyone really have too many? Ahhh… NO. We need options! We challenged Tiffany Masterson, Founder of Drunk Elephant, to create the ultimate post-summer sun mask that would make our skin glow with absolute gorgeousness! Her Tropical Brightening Face Mask will (you guessed it!) leave your skin brighter and more youthful with a host of good-enough-to-eat natural ingredients. After just one application, your face will look flushed, smooth, and positively radiant.  Say goodbye to post-summer skin blues…

What You’ll Need: 
⅓ cup of papaya
1 teaspoon fresh pineapple juice
2 teaspoons of plain greek yogurt
¼ cup of warmed raw honey
1 teaspoon black pepper

Benefits of the Ingredients:
Papaya – Contains high amounts of the enzyme papain, which exfoliates and brightens skin.
Pineapple Juice – The high levels of vitamin C and the enzyme bromelain fight acne while simultaneously soothing inflammation and swelling.
Greek Yogurt – More enzymes! These ones dissolve dirt and nourish your skin.
Raw Honey – Full of antioxidants, which is beneficial for aging skin.  It is also antibacterial and clarifying.
Black Pepper – This will remove loose dead skin cells and toxins from your skin.  It also helps promote blood circulation and provides more oxygen to your visage.  Finally, it has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.

Instructions:
1. Warm honey either in a saucepan or in the microwave.
2. In a bowl, combine the remaining ingredients.  To make the mixture extra smooth, consider blending in a Cuisinart.
3. Apply a thin layer of mixture to your face, and allow to dry.
4. With warm water, gently remove the dried mask with circular movements to wash away all the dead skin cells, dirt, and grime.

TIP: For an extra glowy finish, apply Drunk Elephant Virgin Marula Luxury Facial Oil ($72) after rinsing.

*Make a fresh batch for each application.

 

-Casey Sharbaugh is the blogger behind www.comfortablycasey.com

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oatmeal_mask_

DIY: Oatmeal, Honey, Yogurt & Strawberry Mask

By | diy | 15 Comments

(click “read more” for video)

This mask is definitely one of my favorite summer face treats. It’s incredibly hydrating, soothing, and it wards off acne. And if you’re anything like me, your skin has just about had it with the dreadful mix of humidity, sun, and pollutants… and the zits popping up are proof. But rest assured, a few treatments of the popular oatmeal, honey and yogurt mask + the secret anti-aging and anti-acne ingredient, strawberries! – and your skin will be rejuvenated for another month left to melt in the heat.

But this mask isn’t simply reserved for the troubled complexion. It happens to be the ideal treatment post sun, especially if you have (gasp!) unintentionally burned your skin. I have offered up this exact recipe to many of my friends who have had tanning mishaps and, within days, their skin is back to normal, burn be gone, no permanent damage (thanks largely to the incredible benefits of organic yogurt).

Whatever your skin concern may be, enjoy a spa-like treatment, perfectly refreshing for summer. Watch the video here:

What You’ll Need:
Quaker Oats rolled oats
Organic honey
Organic yogurt – plain
Bowl
Blender
Tablespoon
Measuring Cup
3 Strawberries (optional)

Benefits of the Ingredients:
Oatmeal is a natural, gentle exfoliator. It also soothes a variety of itchy skin conditions like eczema and insect bites by relieving dryness. Overall, oatmeal is a natural healer.
Honey binds moisture into the skin and is full of antioxidants so it is wonderful for sun damage. It’s also good for acne because it helps to absorb impurities and dirt.
Yogurt contains enzymes and lactic acid to hydrate and soothe. It can also even the skin tone.
Strawberries are high in Vitamin C, the benefits include lightening, tightening and brightening the complexion. Ideal for acne-prone skin as strawberries are a natural source of AHA (Alpha Hydroxy Acid), a natural exfoliator.

Instructions:
Blend 1/4 cup of dry rolled oats until the consistency is that of powder. Pour into a bowl. Add 3 tbls of organic yogurt and 2 tbls of honey and mix. Honey may need to be submerged into hot water to make it more malleable.

*If you choose to use strawberries, put them into a blender and mince. Add into the mix (including the juice) and stir well. If the consistency becomes too watery, add more oats.

Let the mixture stand for 10-15 minutes so that the oats are well coated in the moisturizing ingredients of honey and yogurt. Apply to clean skin. Keep on for 10-20 min and then rinse off.

Extras:
Try using just rolled oats – unblended – and water as a light exfoliater and or simply slather on yogurt as a natural healer/ soother, especially good for a sunburn! You can alternate between all three: wash, mask and pure yogurt soother.

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photo 2

DIY: Becoming A Victoria’s Secret Angel (In Under One Hour)

By | diy, how to | 2 Comments

The Victoria’s Secret fashion show is an annual event that has become one of the hottest tickets in town. For women who don’t look like Angel’s, it’s an event that has us mortals damning our thunder thighs and stringy hair, but that’s another story entirely. Last night, the Angels strutted their (barely-there) stuff, and showed off perfect abs, killer hair, and lean, glistening limbs on a runway in London, England. Oh, and bras and undies and oversized wings were on display, too. While last night marked the live show with musical performances by Taylor Swift, Ed Sheeran, Ariana Grande, and Hozier, you can tune into CBS on December 9 for the television event (and your boyfriend’s viewing pleasure).

As per usual, Dick Page took to his brushes and shadows to create sexy, angelic faces on the models. Lips were pink and glossy, skin was dewy, contoured and highlighted, and eyes were lightly gilded with heavy lashes. Hair is that perfect blend of salon blow-out and just-woke-up, come-f*ck-me tresses.

Here’s our quick DIY guide for becoming as close to a Victoria’s Secret Angel in under one hour as is possible. Note: Makeup, tools, and products are mandatory!

Glossy, Nude Lips – An Angel’s pout is always perfectly pink, shiny, glossy, and inviting. Hint: The more gloss, the bigger the pucker. On the market for fuller lips (who isn’t, really?)? Start with Lancer’s Volume Enhancing Lip Serum ($40) to smooth and plump. Apply gloss (and more gloss, and more gloss) over the serum.
TRY:
Laura Mercier Lip Plumper in Rose Flush ($30) – A sheer rosy hue that plumps and hydrates and leaves lips lightly shiny. Add a clear gloss like Make Up For Ever’s Lab Shine Lip Gloss in Diamond ($19) for added lip bling.
Burberry Lip Glow Natural Lip Gloss in Tea Rose ($29) – Ultra shiny petal pink for a pretty pout.
Kevyn Aucoin Beauty The Lipgloss in Nyalia ($30) – A longtime favorite, this creamy mauve-pink gloss adds gorgeous color and mega shine.
*Drugstore Find* CoverGirl Colorlicious in Candylicious ($7) – A creamy baby pink shade that delivers high impact shine, sans the stickiness. Very appropriate for an Angel…

Dewy, Highlighted Skin – An Angel’s skin is flawless so if yours isn’t (and who of us mere mortals actually has flawless skin?), then opt for a BB Cream or tinted moisturizer like Eve Lom’s Radiance Perfected Tinted Moisturizer ($55) to create the illusion of perfect, radiant, even-toned skin. Then, it’s on to the bottled (or compacted) glow, also known as the highlighter. Apply sparingly, but methodically to cheek and brow bones, cupid’s bow, bridge of nose, center of forehead, collarbones, and anywhere else that requires extra illumination. Highlighters wake up a tired face and can take years off of your complexion (read up on their magic here).
TRY:
Dolce & Gabbana Beauty Glow Illuminating Powder ($51) – Eva 3 is a subtle, champagney highlighting powder that gives good glow.
Charlotte Tilbury Wonderglow ($52)- As discussed in this dewy skin post and this highlighter post, Wonderglow is a light diffusing cream that can be applied to the entire face  to create an instant, all-over, inner glow. Mix in with your tinted moisturizer for dewy, shimmery, even skin.
Butter London Cheeky Tinted Highlighter in Twit ($24) – Spot treat your high points with this bronzy liquid highlighter. Great for dabbing onto cheekbones to add sheen, shimmer, and dash of suntanned, golden color.

Come-Hither Lashes – An Angel’s eyes are the window to her gorgeous soul, so she must dress the blinds (lashes) accordingly. In this case, lashes need to be H U G E, curled, twirled, separated, and brimming with a glossy black finish.
TRY: Marc Jacobs Beauty O!Mega Lash Volumizing Mascara ($26) – Everything you could possibly want in a mascara: lengthens, separates, volumizes, and creates, rich, dramatic, pigmented lashes. Apply to top and bottom lashes.
Tarte Ladies Who Lash Limited Edition Picture Perfect Eye Lash Curler Set ($19) – Your mega lashes are going to need some mega curl to protect your “windows.” This holiday kit comes with a mini mascara and a pearl-encrusted lash curler – very Angel-esque.
Dior Diorshow Maximizer Lash Plumping Serum ($29) – If you’re seriously lacking in the lash department, try a lash primer. Dior’s plumping serum is meant to be applied prior to mascara to immediately lengthen and thicken, and promote growth and strength longer-term. Of course, even if you have lengthy lashes, you can always use some extra plumpness, right?

Lean, Glistening Gams – When prancing around in itsy-bitsy bras and undies, long, lean limbs are somewhat mandatory. Fake the elongated, amazonian legs-for-days look with a few key luminizing body products that create the illusion of a thinner, taller you. Psst: Did you know that tanned skin actually makes you look skinnier? So, while baby oil will definitely give mega shine, a product with a hint of color will give you Angel-sexy, contoured limbs on top of the long and lean.
TRY:
Lorac Tantilizer Body Bronzing Luminizer ($32) – Adds a quick tan (that washes off with soap and water) and glistening shimmer to create flawless limbs.
Nars Body Glow ($59)- This cult classic is pretty perfect for creating the illusion of longer, leaner limbs. It’s oil-based, adds shimmer, and gives the slightest tint of sun kissed color. Plus, the coconut scent just smells like an Angel!
Perfekt Body Perfection Gel ($48) – A multipurpose skin perfector that offers sun kissed color while also firming and toning longterm. Enhances arms, legs, and décolleté with a hint of shimmer. If you prefer a matte formula, they have that too.

Bed Head – An Angel’s tresses is the perfect mix of long, thick, voluptuous waves, and texturized messiness – in a very deliberate way, of course. To achieve this sexy ‘do, you’ll need the help of some heavy duty hair products. First things first, if you don’t have a wand, invest in one stat – like Sultra’s The Bombshell 1 inch curling iron ($130). Nothing creates Angel waves better than the wand. Handle with care!
TRY:
Oribe Texturizing Spray ($42) – An industry favorite, this dry spray is basically the Holy Grail of hair texturizing products. It’s a step-up from a dry shampoo (although it still absorbs excess oil), adding mega volume and bed head texture.
Verb Sea Spray ($14) – If you like your curls to look beachy as opposed to bed head, look no further than Verb’s Sea Spray. It creates body and beauty waves with a wet finish that can be scrunched to perfection.
Victoria’s Secret Beach Hair Wave Spray ($12) – For ocean-tousled waves straight from Victoria’s Secret. We’ve never tried it, so we’re unsure of the product’s exact capabilities, but chances are this was the spray used on the Angels’ strands (and that’s saying something!).

 

*All photos from Victoria’s Secret’s Instagram account.

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DIY: Lightening And Brightening Lemon Toner

By | diy | 10 Comments

If you follow Beauty Banter on Instagram (and you definitely should… click here to join in on the pretty), then you’re aware that I’ve been on a major DIY kick as of late. I posted this photo of last week’s homemade remedies, and that was a day after I posted this Coachella-inspired DIY floral headdress. I’ve always been an ardent fan of arts and crafts and DIY beauty products are a natural extension of this passion. And, well, last week was definitely a creative type of week!

My latest DIY obsession: the lightening and brightening lemon toner, which works wonders on acne-prone skin as well! I decided to concoct said toner because I was noticing sun spots taking up residence on the left side of my face (due to driving — and the obtrusive west coast sun). Lemon is one of the most amazing lightening agents – store bought or otherwise – and this toner will not only lighten and brighten your complexion, it’ll also tighten pores and reduces breakouts.

Here’s the thing about packaged Vitamin C – it’s great for the complexion but it goes bad, literally, overnight. Therefore, the brands must use preservatives to keep the potent ingredient doing its thing. With fresh lemon, a natural source of Vitamin C, you get all of the benefits – tightening, lightening and brightening – without any of the preservatives. And it works so much better and costs a fraction of the price (all of the below ingredients will cost under $7).

Use this toner 1 to 2 times a day to clean off dirt and grime, gently exfoliate dead skin that clogs pores, even uneven skin tone and, of course, lighten and brighten the complexion!

What You’ll Need:
1 Fresh Lemon
Witch Hazel (pre-made astringent will do)
Purified Water (bottled or filtered)
Plastic Bottle like this one

Benefits of the Ingredients:
Lemon – A natural source of Vitamin C; an ingredient commonly used to lighten sun and age spots and even out skin tone; A natural astringent that tightens pores and brightens the complexion.
Witch Hazel – A natural astringent high in tannins.

Directions:
This is the easiest toner that you’ll ever make (well, besides this one). Squeeze the juice out of 1 lemon (make sure to remove the seeds). Combine the lemon juice with half the amount of Witch Hazel (this one here is my absolute favorite) and double the amount of purified water. The Witch Hazel will actually clean your skin while the lemon will lighten sun spots (and freckles!) and brighten the overall complexion.

So, the ratio I am using is 1:.5:2, but feel free to add or decrease any of the ingredients, depending on how your skin reacts. You must dilute the lemon! To start, do 1 part lemon to 2 parts purified water until your skin acclimates, then feel free to add more lemon. If your skin is very oily, add more witch hazel (or try Tea Tree Oil instead!). For dryer skin types, you can use less witch hazel — or sub it out entirely and use rose water (my DIY recipe here).

Store the toner in a plastic bottle. You can use the toner twice a day. Store in a cool, dry place. Make a new batch every two weeks.

*I actually like to use the DIY Apple Cider Vinegar Toner in conjunction with this Lemon Toner. The combination targets all of my skincare concerns: uneven skin tones and acne! (I layer both toners onto a single cotton pad and swipe across my face morning and evening).

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DIY: Floral Headpiece

By | diy | 2 Comments

We’re welcoming spring with a royal flair! Inspired by the glamorous cover of Melissa de la Cruz’s The Ring and the Crown, we’ve come up with a DIY tutorial for your own floral headpiece. There are a plethora of DIY floral hair accessories to choose from online, but this one is quick, easy and gorgeous — so give it a go!

What You’ll Need:
Coiled Aluminum or Steel Wire (comes in silver and gold – either works)
Floral Wire (get a green shade so that it will blend with the stems)
2-4 different colored flowers (make sure that you choose small buds with thin stems – you’ll have an easier time attaching them to the wire. Bulky flowers and heavy stems will weigh down the headpiece. Any and all color variations work. Have fun with it – play around with colors and flower types!)
*I suggest choosing one larger flower that will act as your “main” flower, and 2-3 smaller flowers that will be decorative side pieces. And don’t break the bank… random, colorful buds from your garden work just as well…
Bushel of Baby’s Breath (or similar inexpensive airy greens)
Scissors

How To Make It (refer to pictures in the slideshow above):
1. Cut about a dozen 2-4 inch pieces of floral wire.
2. Take the coiled aluminum wire and wrap it around your head… give it another 2-4 inches and cut. You want it to be longer than the circumference of your head so that you can create a hook and eye type of loop.
3. Bend the wire into a circle, then create your loops on opposite ends.
4. Choose a main flower – you’ll want to cut 4 buds from the bushel. Give yourself at least 2 inches of stem.
5. Attach the main flower to the FRONT of the aluminum wire by using floral wire. Wrap 2 of the flowers facing right and 2 of the flowers facing left. This way, they will face each other and create fullness in the front of your headpiece.
*don’t worry if the green floral wire shows… once the headpiece is on, it will blend in with the stems.
6. Create 2-4 groupings (this will depend on your head size – I used 2 groupings) of alternate colored flowers (I combined yellow and purple). Bind them together with the floral wire.
7. Attach the groupings to the headpiece, on either side of your main flowers.
*If you feel that the groupings are too large or cumbersome, attach each flower separately. This entirely depends on the type and size of flower that you choose.
8. Either continue with your floral groupings along either side of the headpiece, or attach Baby’s Breath (or the like) on either side. Again, cut small bushels, leaving stem room, and attach with the floral wire.
9. Weave the Baby’s Breath on top of each other and attach each new bushel with floral wire. You’re goal is to layer the visible stems with more Baby’s Breath. Do this on either side.
10. Once you’ve attached enough flowers to cover 3/4 of your aluminum wire, you’re pretty much done! I left the hook and eye uncovered so that I could adjust the headpiece, but you can also attach flowers or Baby’s Breath or even a piece of satin so that you can’t see any of the wire.

GENERAL TIP: When attaching flowers to the wire, wrap them as close to the bud as possible and work down the stem, lining the stems up with the wire. In other words, don’t leave the stems protruding in a vertical direction, but rather closely nestled against the bend of the wire.

The headpiece will last about a day, maybe longer if you keep it out of the sun and in the refrigerator while not wearing it. Feel free to experiment with different types of flowers, greens, and even stems. It’s true trial and error. And remember, floral wire is your friend. If a flower feels loose, keep wrapping it!

For more information on Melissa de la Cruz’s epic tale of kingdoms, monarchies, and royal happenings, click here and watch the trailer below.

Questions on how to make your floral headpiece? Ask away in the comment section below.

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About Beauty Banter
Beauty Banter was launched in July of 2006 as a comprehensive beauty blog covering trends, tips and tricks, insider secrets, and weekly must-haves. Beauty Banter has a reputation of being on the cutting edge of emerging trends and product launches so our readers are always the first to know what’s hot and what’s just not.