Wacky Beauty Tips That Work

I can’t claim to have tried ALL of these. But some of them look rather interesting. My notes are in RED.

1) Powder Your Roots
If your hairline starts to look greasy, dig up a big, fluffy makeup brush, and dip it into a pot of loose powder. Tap it once on the back of your hand to remove the excess, then dust it over your roots. It mops up oil and blends into your strands, so no one will know you didn’t shower. 2) Scent Strands with Perfume
Spray a light shot of fragrance into your brush’s bristles. Run it through strands from roots to ends and your hair will smell amazing throughout the day. Did this years ago – read it in a teen mag. I don’t remember it working “amazingly” – but maybe it was my hair.

3) Cure Calluses with Vaseline
Slather on the petroleum jelly, and put on socks before bed to dissolve tough calluses overnight. I do this often. It doesn’t “cure” calluses, but it does soften the feetsies.

4) Spot-Treat Smudges
Dip a cotton swab in eye-makeup remover, and trace it along your lids to erase any slipups or goofs when there’s no time to redo your whole look.

5) Fix a Flushed Face
If you turn red and stay that way after exercising (like seriously red for hours, even though you’re healthy and hydrated), take an antihistamine like Benadryl when you leave the gym to reduce redness. Umm… Benadryl can make you extremely sleepy. Probably not the best idea in the bag.

6) Soften Your Bod with Avocado
Take a ripe avocado, remove the pit and skin, and mash it up in a bowl. Slather it all over your body, let it sit for 20 minutes, then rinse off. Your skin will be sooo soft — avocado is a natural moisturizer. Waste. Eat it. Avacado’s good for your body.

7) Super-Glue a Nail
Instead of tearing off your nail when it breaks, put a tiny dab of Super Glue over the split, and paint a generous layer of your favorite nail polish shade over it. Go for an opaque option (like red, purple, or coral) to camouflage and seal the crack. Done it. Works, at least with artificial nails.

8) Use Makeup Remover on Stubborn Lipstick
Don’t try to rub off red lipstick (which makes it smear across your mouth — not so sexy). Instead, take a cotton ball or tissue, dip it in makeup remover, and just dab to erase the dark stain fast.

9) Tame Brows with Eye Cream
Pat any kind of rich eye cream over brows to help keep them hydrated and banish those icky white specks that look like dandruff. Lotion works fine for this. A good lotion.

10) Buff with Baking Soda
If you find yourself streaking (not glowing) after applying self-tanner, put some baking soda on a loofah, and scrub away the stripes.

11) Brush on Hair Spray
For the final step of your blow-dry, spray hair spray onto your brush, and run it through strands from roots to tips. This way, your ‘do isn’t plastered and stiff but still holds volume and shine.

12) Boost Body Lotion with Baby Oil
If you’re craving shiny legs that aren’t greasy, blend a drop of baby oil into your normal body lotion for extra luster. Done it. Works. But isn’t the greatest for your skin.

13) Dab Essential Oil on a Hangnail
Put on apricot oil, the kind found in health-food stores, to protect cuticles from turning rough and raggedy. You’re probably more likely to have olive oil or canola oil sitting around the house. Use that. OO works GREAT, especially when used daily.

14) Quell a Cold Sore with Cream
When a cold sore is coming on, dab a bit of thick moisturizer, like Aquaphor, over it to prevent it from getting worse.

15) Freeze Your Eyeliner
If the tip of your eyeliner pencil crumbles and smears on your lids, store the liner in the freezer for 15 minutes before use so the tip is firm and goes across your skin smoothly.

16) Use Toothpaste on a Zit
Use just a pea-size amount. Let sit for 15 minutes to absorb the oil so the pimple won’t get more clogged, then wash off. Done it. Works OK.

17) Heat Up Your Curler
If you have stick-straight lashes, try blasting your metal eyelash curler with a hair dryer for a couple of seconds to heat it up so your lashes bend more easily. And use a waterproof mascara. The formula dries faster than other mascaras, so it sets the curl more effectively. Done it. Be careful, ’cause hot metal can be pretty painful on your eyelid, eyeball…

18) Use Soap Without Water
You know those fancy bars that are actually too pretty to use? Toss them in your underwear or tee-shirt drawers to make your skin smell delicious. Done it. Works.

19) Groom Brows with a Toothbrush
Mist an (unused!) toothbrush or eyebrow comb with hair spray to help flatten and tame unruly brows. Done it. Works.

20) Put Diaper-Rash Cream on Dry Spots
Slather on a thick layer of diaper-rash cream to heal cracked elbows and feet. Use Vaseline, if you must.

21) Lubricate Your Lashes
An easy way to draw attention to your eyes without putting on a pile of makeup is to comb petroleum jelly lightly through the tips of eyelashes to get a sexy, subtle sparkle. Hmm.

22) Steamroll Flyaways
Spray on hair spray, then roll the can over your strands. The round bottle fits the curved shape of your head, locks in the spray, and flattens out frizz.

23) Spike Lotion with Bronzer
If you don’t have time to book a self-tanning session, mix a few pumps of body bronzer with regular hand lotion and pat it on your legs for a gradual dose of sexy, beachy color.

24) Air-Dry Your Curls
Let your hair dry indoors before going out in the cold. The curls will be really bouncy and piecey-perfect. Done it. Not sure there’s any magic to it.

25) Press a Tea Bag on Splotches
If your skin is sensitive or just looking irritated and puffy for some reason, steep a bag of green tea for a minute or two, let it cool down, and dab it over your face. The antioxidants in the tea take down inflammation. Rooibos might work better. Not sure.

26) Shave with Conditioner
Ran out of shaving cream? Do double duty by coating your stems with a thick hair conditioner. It softens the hair so it’s easier to shave off and makes legs feel amazingly silky. Done it. Wouldn’t recommend it. Would use baby oil instead. I know I said it isn’t the best for your skin, but… whatever.

27) Amp Shine with Vinegar
Mix one part vinegar with four parts carbonated water, and soak dry hair. Leave on for 15 minutes before you shampoo to lock in shine and combat dullness. Might just use a vinegar rinse instead. With regular water.

28) Exfoliate Your Pits
If your underarms start to look dry and flaky, an easy trick is to exfoliate them with a gentle face scrub to keep that skin pretty when going sleeveless.

29) Customize Your Body Lotion
Instead of shelling out for an expensive perfumed body product, you can make your own by pouring a few drops of fragrance into any scent-free lotion. Rub it on — the scent will last for hours. NOT a good idea – you need to make SURE the fragrance oil you’re using is body safe. Putting some potpourri oil in your lotion in your body lotion is a bad idea. Stick to scented lotions instead.

30) “Brush” with Mouthwash
If you’re too wiped out after a late night of partying to clean your teeth, rinse with water and mouthwash, then use a dry toothbrush on the area where your teeth hit your gums. How is this any easier than brushing your teeth? Not sure. If you’re out of paste, this sounds pretty darn good, though. Or baking soda.

31) Make an Egg-White Mask
To revive tired, dull skin without hitting the spa table, try this: Crack open an egg in a bowl, separate the yolk, and use the egg whites to make a face mask. The proteins help to heal and restore skin’s moisture. Leave it on for five minutes, then rinse off.

32) Dry Sensitive Skin with T.P.
Instead of drying your face with a scratchy towel, pat with toilet paper — it’s ultrasoft on delicate skin (and bums!). Probably would stick to your face just like it does to your… Better yet, just pat your face with a towel.


Pumpkin Bread

In reference to the banana bread post and the addition of molasses. I should clarify – it isn’t that there is molasses in the recipe, but that I make my own brown sugar by combining molasses and raw sugar.

1T. Blackstrap Molasses
1C. sugar (I use finely ground raw turbinado sugar, you can use white instead)

Mix, mix, mix until you have – ¡voila! brown sugar.

So that’s my secret, of which it is not, really, a secret.

Of coarse, being the weather teased of fall, it was necessary to make more bread. This time I made pumpkin chocolate chip. I did take pictures, but they were all terrible and my family eats pumpkin bread too fast for me to try and get any others (unless a cakeplate full of pumpkin bread crumbs would suffice). You can make pumpkin bread, with your banana bread recipe. Just sub out the bananas for pumpkin, add some nutmeg & cloves, and there you go. It smells heavenly and tastes like autumn. Throw in a handful or two of chocolate chips and you have a real treat.

Tonight I made meatloaf (beef, breadcrumbs, onions, shredded carrots, chopped tomatoes, salt, pepper, garlic and cayenne), acorn squash (halved, 1T. butter whipped with 1T. maple syrup dash of salt and pepper, smeared on the halves – don’t forget to scoop out the seeds first – put in oven at the same time as my 3-pound meatloaf, cooked on 350 for about 90 minutes), salad and hunks of Italian bread. Very good, relatively simple comfort food. Yum.

Banana Bread Joy

I love the smell of fresh baked breads, muffins, cookies, pies, soups. The real deal, too, not an apple-cinnamon candle burning away on a shelf. Today I decided to bake some banana bread, not for the craving of it, but mostly just for the warm, cozy feel it gives to a home. Having a bunch of browning bananas sealed the deal.

As I measured flour, poured molasses, beat bananas, I gave thought to the joy little things like making bread give me. I miss the freedom of being a stay-at-home mom. I miss focusing on my family, being able to fill the house with delicious scents on a near daily basis. I would be perfectly happy not working, and managing a household. I would never claim to be the best at household management, but it is definitely something that I desire naturally. Sometimes it is still hard for me to believe that only a little over a year ago I was a stay-at-home(maker) mom.

We ate less convenience foods then, and I had more time to meal-plan, grocery shop and clean. But, I also figured, since we needed more money and I did not have any solid experience in the workplace, it was a good idea to get a job, put some experience under my belt and make some money. It was either get a job and make money, or go to school and finish out my degree. When a job with decent hours, decent pay and a workload that seemed to fit the bill, I decided to grab it and forgo school (even though I had been accepted back into the program).

As far as simplifying my life goes, I’m not sure I accomplished that by choosing work over school. Though I’m not sure either choice would have simplified life, anyways. But as I made banana bread, I reflected on what was important to me “career-wise” and began to evaluate if I was making the best decision. I have no answer. But I did make some absolutely divine banana bread. Which, as the day goes, was simply a good decision.

Revolution Tea

I would call myself a “coffee drinker.” But I also very much enjoy tea. So I’m maybe a 75/25 coffee/tea drinker. One of my favorite teas is Rooibos. I also like Earl Grey (Rishi is one of my favorites). Another interesting twist on the Earl Grey is this one:

Revolution’s Earl Grey Lavender tea.

Revolution Tea’s award-winning Earl Grey Lavender adds a unique twist to a popular favorite. Ceylon, Oolong and Darjeeling estate tea leaves are lightly flavored with Oil of Bergamot and combined with super blue lavender to create a wonderful, sweet tea.

It is a lighter Earl Grey than Rishi’s, with a wonderful lavender accent. A very unique tea. I love it with breakfast or alone for a drink. I feel like I’m indulging in something special whenever I drink it.

I know a lot of people have raved about Adagio teas, but I have not tried them, so I can’t compare. But, as far as Earl Grey goes, Rishi and Revolution have made me a happy tea-drinker.