Basic Beauty Essentials

Basic Beauty Essentials

It’s a big day tomorrow–a job interview, a date, a friend’s wedding, your wedding–and you’re relaxing for the evening. A final look in the mirror before bed and, horror! A giant red blemish is staring back at you.

It’s unfortunate but true. In times of stress or busy schedules, our skin, hair and nails often suffer the consequences of neglect. For that zit, try dabbing on a drop of tea tree oil to reduce inflammation and kill bacteria. Here are a few other easy solutions for those last-minute makeovers.

Glowing Skin

Exfoliation will remove the buildup of old skin cells and give your complexion a healthy glow. The night before a big event, begin by washing your face. Then open your pores using a warm, wet washcloth that has been dabbed with your favourite essential oil. Use a small amount of sea salt or oatmeal blended with a few drops of warm water and massage the mixture into your face using small circular movements. Finally, rinse your skin with cool water and moisturize your face with a product that’s specifically designed for your skin type.

Face Smoother

A bit of pampering can make you feel immediately better about facing any upcoming challenge. A quick yogurt-honey mask can be prepared by mixing one tablespoon (15 ml) each of the two ingredients. The moisturizing, soothing and hydrating actions will also help clear up any complexion problems.

Sleep Saver

Can’t seem to fall asleep? This hydrotherapy solution for insomnia sounds strange but works surprisingly well. Run cold water over a pair of cotton socks and wring them out. Put them on, followed by a pair of dry, woolen socks. Crawl into bed for half an hour–or all night if you end up falling asleep right away.

Shiny Hair

Glossy hair can be achieved with a deep conditioning treatment. Mash an avocado, which contains vitamins B and E, essential fatty acids and magnesium, with enough olive oil to make a smooth cream. Massage the mixture into your scalp and hair. After an hour, wash out the paste with shampoo and apply an apple cider vinegar rinse. The rinse will shrink the hair cuticles, rebalance its pH level and give hair shafts a smoother texture for more shine.

Hard As Nails

Rosehip oil is an excellent all-in-one nail treatment. It contains prostaglandin, which strengthens your nail cells, increases circulation and stimulates growth. The vitamin C content helps prevent nail infections and its fatty acids replenish lost moisture. Finish off by buffing your nails gently for a vibrant shine.

Sweet Breath

Eat parsley or mint with a meal to neutralize offensive breath. Make your own breath freshener by combining a couple of drops of parsley or peppermint oil with water in a purse-size container. For whiter, stronger teeth, toothpastes that contain calcium, baking soda or sea salt will help remove plaque buildup. Ingredients such as antiseptic tea tree oil, myrrh, cloves or cinnamon will help prevent gum disease.

Smooth Shave

To prevent your skin from becoming inflamed during shaving, use a shaving lotion that contains herbs such as sage, arnica or chamomile to promote healing. Peppermint, horsetail, orange flower and lemongrass are antibacterial agents, while comfrey, silica and coconut oil provide moisture to the newly shaved skin.

Shiatsu Fatigue Fighter

A quick shiatsu (Japanese massage) technique is believed to help relieve feelings of fatigue. Using the thumb and index finger of your left hand, press firmly on the last joint near the tip of your little finger on your right hand. Hold for 15 to 20 seconds, releasing slowly. After 10 seconds, repeat up to five times if desired.

Scentual De-Stresser

Aromatherapy can offer a quick way to relax your nerves or provide a natural pick-me-up. Put four drops of chamomile and two drops each of sandalwood and bergamot onto a handkerchief. Breathe deeply through the nose, out through the mouth for a few minutes and you’ll feel the effects. Conversely, if you’re feeling tired, a drop of peppermint oil rubbed on the temples (watch the eyes!) is a mental stimulant.

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