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The 15 Beauty Secrets

December 1, 2008

It's been a long time since I've written a beauty post... also somewhat refreshing since blog posts are becoming redundant. Though it's not my actual tips, these are very, very clever ones and definitely the "secret of the trade" type. Listed are my favorite fifteen, but you can read the rest here. I also took the liberty of posting my own commentary in italics.

Skin reviver. If you have jet-lagged or hungover skin, makeup artists swear by gel cloth masks like SK-II's Facial Treatment Mask. After cleansing, leave one on for as long as you can. There's no mud, no rinsing to remove gunk -- just a fuss-free mask that livens up your skin and saturates it with moisture.

Makeup on the run. If you don't have time for full-on eye makeup on a night out, try this: Dip your finger in a pot of waxy lip balm, then scribble a little dark eyeliner on top of the balm. Gently rub the finger into the roots of your top lashes and finish with mascara . . . the smearier, the better!
(I used to do this... still do actually... with chapstick or lipgloss. If my makeup is wearing dreary before a night's out, I would rub lipgloss or chapstick over my eyelid and rub dark eyeshadow over. Instant oomph!)

Smooth hands. Don't throw out used ground coffee -- it makes a great hand exfoliator. After it has cooled, place in a plastic bag in the fridge. Twice a week, scoop out a teaspoon and rub on your hands before rinsing and applying your usual cream.
(I say why stop at your hands when you can bring a whole lot into the shower for a full body exfoliation! Maybe if you have a friend that works at the coffee shop, ask them to save you leftover grounds. When I worked at Starbucks, my mom made me save the used grounds for her plants... go figure)

Beat puffiness. Splashing your face with iced water in the morning will reduce puffiness. But did you know that if you hold an ice cube against the roof of your mouth with your tongue, the chill will help reduce facial puffiness from the inside out?

Polish fixer. Splash a drop of olive oil over freshly painted nails. This forms a protective film over the polish, encouraging it to dry more quickly and stop smudging. Alternatively, transform grubby nails by rubbing chalk under the tips with a nail brush to give a French manicured look.

Home trim. You can trim your own fringe, but do it dry and with proper hairdressing scissors. Divide your fringe into three sections, grab the first one, pull it straight up and twist. Snip into the ends with the point of the scissors, cutting diagonally so each strand varies a little in length. Drop the section to see where it falls, then twist and cut more if necessary. Pull up the next section, matching it to the length of the first and so on. You've just added a few more weeks to your cut!
(I really sucked at cutting my own bangs, and my hairdresser could tell and would scold me everytime. So to prevent the hairdressers' frustration and health hazards of overwhelming pet peeves, some salons do it for free. Particularly Toni & Guy, ahem.)

Silky legs. If you suffer from ingrown hairs following hair removal, get into the Nivea Creme habit. Ingrown problems should become a thing of the past with a daily application as dry skin causes hair to imbed. Nivea helps to retain moisture, meaning existing hairs pop out and new ones don't appear.

Face saver. Revive a tired complexion by going hot and cold. Soak your face cloth in warm water with a few drops of Dr. Hauschka Lemon Bath, which softens hard water and revitalizes you and your skin. Apply the compress to your face for a few seconds -- repeat and do your usual cleansing regime. Complete with a cool splash -- this contrast in temperature strengthens the skin. The warmth stimulates the delivery of oxygen to the surface, while the cool helps eliminate toxins and closes pores.
(The bottle is about $30 on Amazon. I wonder how this will work with real lemons? Does anyone want to put it to the test?)

Bright smile. Before a wedding or party where you're going to be photographed, rub the juicy side of cut strawberries across your front teeth to brighten them.

Get rid of shine. Caught yourself in the pub mirror with skin like an oil slick? Don't panic. That nasty hard toilet paper makes an excellent blotter! Simply tear off a corner and press on to your skin to soak up shine.
(Is anyone besides me guilty of using toilet seat covers for face blotching? I am! And I totally recommend it. I mean, only if you're really desperate. Kind of off topic but just today, James was introduced to those blue oil botching sheets. You know the ones I'm talking about. It's a super sensitive light blue sheet and a little pat on the skin leaves an embarrassing dark blue imprint. Yeah, that one. He got a huge kick out of it: "Hah, I have less oil than you." Gosh, everything is a competition with him...)

Baby-soft feet. For beautiful feet, use Benefit "Touch Me Then Try to Leave" cream. Rub all over, then wrap in cling wrap, put socks on, and leave overnight for totally soft skin by morning. Do this once a week, and your feet will be gorgeous by sandal season.
(I want to try this with my legs and arms using basic Aveeno moisturizing lotion. Tonight.)

Don't be flaky. Dandruff? Crush up an aspirin and mix it with your regular shampoo. Properties in the painkiller will calm the dry scalp and save you splashing out on special brands.

Hair tamer. A small tube of hand cream in your handbag can fix a bad hair day. In winter, rub a tiny amount on your hands and smooth over your head to eliminate static and hat hair. Come summer, running a tiny amount through your hair with fingertips will tame frizz.

Easy polish. For a hassle-free DIY pedicure, apply base coat and two coats of color a few hours before bed (don't bother trying to keep within the lines) and top off with glossy top coat. Next morning in the shower, you'll find you can easily scrape off any stray polish with your fingernails -- and voila! -- perfect toes.

Natural glow. To fake the natural look, dab some cream blush on the apples of your cheeks, then apply light foundation or tinted moisturizer over the top to the flushed-from-within look.

These are just some of my favorites, my other beauty tips are much too obvious to really deserve recognition (eg. drink lots of water, eyelash curlers do wonders, avocado mask etc..), so what are some of yours?

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38 responses:

  1. wow!! that list was really great!!! now I know how to do makeup on the run and kill those ingrown hairs!! thanks!!

  2. BEAUTY?!

    ah where have you been?

    LOVE your lil secrets.

    rinsing olive oil through your hair.
    it leaves it ridiculously shiny (!!!)

    and just plain sugar for a body/face scrub.


  3. Great list! I'm defintiely gonig to try the 'make-up on the run', the nivea cream and the cling foil for the feet.

  4. Thanks for your bang tip - I'm horrible at going to my place for a bang trim and often whip out my sheers.

  5. hm, great tips, i think i can now say i learnt something today, lovely.
    that eyeshadow one is great i use it all the time, actually i recently started using chalk as eyeshadow, that sounds insane but its really good if you want to add a little bright colour, it stays on all day and is so cheap and no one knows the difference, haha. i thank my 3 year old neice and our make up adventures.

  6. id love to see a pic of you doing the lip wax/lashes top point. i think ill try it but i know il do it wrong ! xx

  7. awesome tips!

    I want to try the SKII masks now

  8. The lipbalm/eyeliner tip is brilliant. I'm definitely going to try that!

  9. I love secret beauty tips! But for some reason..I am still on a mission to find the secret to the foundation that celebs/models use for that perfect looking skin

  10. great tips!!! and fantastic blog.. i adore your style!!

  11. I feature this fab post on my site here:
    I hope that is okay. I've always one done the sneaky toe nailpolish scrape off in the shower! such a good one!

  12. Neosporin cream on pimples. Seriously, my mom taught me about this when I was in junior high and I swear by it. Don't use the ointment type though- it's really oily and will make acne worse.
    Also, if you're too poor for Benefit lotion, I swear by Vaseline as a moisturizer. It also works as a cuticle cream, lip balm, and pretty much anything else you can think of.

    Raych, DO NOT wrap your arms and legs before sleep. Do this when you're awake. It will make you sweat like nobody's business, and can cause dehydration. Not fun. If you're awake, at least you can take it off when it gets to be too much.

  13. the tip on healthy glows and the make up on the run tip
    very useful (:
    also the first time i heard about killing ingrown hairs!

    great post!

  14. Anonymous

    I love beauty posts. Try the Aspirin-honey mask.. it really works. You can read tons of reviews on Makeupalley. Speaking of Makeupalley, I read all reviews on a product (or at least a lot..) before I buy it. It has saved me lots of money. With the soft feet trick, it's actually better to use Vaseline. I do it from time to time and it really does make your feet super soft. A highlighter brow pencil, such as Benefits high brow, really brightens up your face. There's so many more I can't think of right now, but Youtube makeup tutorials are one of my fave things ever!

  15. I heart this post. I just want to pamper now. xx

  16. these are SUCH good tips! im definitely going to try the strawberry one and the eye make up on that girl looks gorgeous

  17. wow!! very interesting.
    Must try them all

  18. Doing a good manicure not only depend on choosing a qualified nail designer but also it depends on choosing a quality nail brushes. Nail brushes should be firm but not spikey and the white tampico bristles should be very soft.

  19. a great list and some really good tips. I definitely already do the ice water one.

  20. Tips I didn't already know for a change; awesome post. I'm especially excited to try the lip balm-dark shadow combo.
    Although, does toni&guy offer ANYTHING for free? I manage to fork out 150 bucks every time I pay them a visit.
    As for rough feet, I haven't seen anything as effective as body shop cocoa body butter. You don't even have to wrap afterwards, just apply after your daily shower.

  21. ^^oops, accidentally left that comment from my parents' account. Dunno how that happened.

  22. Anonymous

    Sucha brilliant post!

  23. This is so awesome, love this post!

  24. I'm definitely trying a coffee exfoliator tonight! Thanks for all the tips.

  25. I'm definitely trying a coffee exfoliator tonight! Thanks for all the tips.

  26. The content you have provided is pretty interesting and useful and I will surely take note of the point you have made in the blog.

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