Beauty tends to come at a price and an expensive one at that.
While one can only dream of Kate Middleton-worthy hair and skin, the makeup and skincare products that can make these possible tend to be impossible on a budget. And while there’s nothing wrong with an occasional splurge, there are ways you can still keep your cash and look your very best, too. Simply head to your kitchen.
There are numerous tricks involving food that can enhance your natural gorgeousness, but tracking them all down can be pretty messy. And let’s be real, some of them may be just that, an old wives tale. Fortunately, there are specific ingredients already in your fridge and cabinet that can provide more effective results, and several beauty experts swear by it.
Check out the 10 foods you need right now for better looking hair, skin, and more. You deserve to be a natural wonder.
For a super simple lip stain, simply make use of one popular dessert. Celebrity makeup artist Joanna Schlip, who has worked with actress Hayden Panettiere and supermodel Kate Moss, likes to use cherry-flavored Jell-O for a rich, juicy color that easily competes with more expensive products. Not only is it long lasting, but the bold color is also flattering on nearly any skin tone, all while brightening up the face. “Lick your lips and then smooth on cherry Jell-O,” she explains. “Simply dip fingers into the powder packet and apply to moist lips for a long-lasting stain.”
Suffering from dry, flaky lips? Remove dead skin cells easily with a sweet remedy. “Combat dryness with an equal part concoction of white granulated sugar and honey,” says Emmy Award-winning makeup artist Vanessa Elese. “The honey acts as a natural antioxidant-filled hydrant and seals moisture into your pucker while the sugar gently exfoliates away surface dryness and flakes.”
Dealing with a greasy face and visible pores that no amount of foundation can cover up? Skip the heavy makeup and smooth away shine with creamy yogurt. “I like to make a mask with yogurt,” says celebrity facialist Joanna Vargas. “Make a mask with ½ cup plain yogurt, ½ cup mashed strawberries, and ½ cup honey. Mix together and apply to face and neck for 10 minutes. Not only is it soothing, but it will also tighten pores. If you want to add some extra exfoliation, put two tablespoons of almond powder into this mask and scrub onto the skin, spending extra time on the T-zone where the most blackheads are found. Then leave on for 10 minutes. The results will be amazing.”
“Our skin needs fat in order to stay hydrated and glowing,” explains Dr. Frank Lipman, integrative and functional medicine physician. “Avocados are nature’s own moisturizer, rich in healthy fatty acids, which will keep your skin supple, moist, and glowing. In addition to eating avocados, try an avocado face mask to get the benefits both inside and out. Mash half of a soft avocado with a fork. Stir together 1 tablespoon raw honey with 2 tablespoons of hot water. Add the mixture to the avocado to create a rich mask. Apply to the face, avoiding the eyes, and let it do its magic for 10 minutes. Enjoy a refreshed face.”
How does actress Catherine Zeta-Jones keep those pearly whites in tip-top shape? She allegedly applies juicy strawberries. “The juice or pulp of strawberries contains malic acid which serves as an astringent and can lighten surface strains,” she’s been quoted as saying. While we don’t recommend tossing aside toothpaste, consider rubbing this berry on your ivories once a week before brushing. Be warned though, this trick may not work on those with sensitive teeth due to the strawberry’s natural acidity. However, we also hear banana peels make a great substitute if strawberries aren't for you.
Everyone is familiar with applying cucumbers to de-puff eyes, but did you know they can also refresh a tired face for a natural, youthful glow? “Use distilled water and drop a few slices of cucumber into a travel-sized spray bottle for a summer mist,” says Elese. “Take it on the go for a fresh pick-me-up. Beat summer’s heat with the healing and detoxifying benefits of cucumber that won’t disturb your makeup in in the least. It’s price-conscious and easy to create.”
Attempting to combat pesky blemishes? Vargas also likes creating a rich mask highlighting the juice from freshly squeezed grapefruits. “The grapefruit juice contains salicylic acid and it’s also very cleansing," she says. To tone down its harshness, Vargas also uses creamy yogurt and cornmeal as a gentle exfoliant. “Use ½ cup plain yogurt, ½ cup corn meal, and ¼ cup grapefruit juice,” she says. “Cool in the fridge to thicken. Scrub onto the face gently for two minutes and rinse. This scrub smells wonderful and it’s like having a mini facial right at home!”
What do Julia Roberts and Giada De Laurentiis have in common? They’re both big fans of olive oil–and not just for cooking. The Oscar-winning actress reportedly bathes her nails in olive oil once a week to strengthen them, as well as to nourish the skin. Meanwhile, the celebrity chef and Food Network personality likes to apply it, well, everywhere else. “I do believe it gives my hair, skin, and nails a really nice glow,” she tells us. “I also put it on my fingers, my hands, my nails, and sometimes on my face when it’s cold and I’m feeling very chapped. It seems like my skin really enjoys that flavor. I also put it on the ends of my hair when I’m traveling when it feels very dry from all the blow drying and curling irons.
When life gives you lemons…make it an instant remedy for brighter, even-toned skin. Beauty experts insist this old trick works wonders and it’s pretty simple to apply. It’s recommended to gently rub elbows and knees with half a lemon a day to lighten out dark areas. Others say it can also be used to lighten acne scars. However, be careful if you have any wounds or cuts to avoid a mean stinger. Also, make sure to rinse the skin as lemon juice is not meant to be left on the body for extended periods of time. “Lemon juice lightens skin very effectively and that also holds true for stretch marks,” says professional health coach Lori Shemek. “Simply let the juice dry on your skin before rinsing it off. Use consistently for best results.”
Want shiny, touchable tresses? Crack open a cold one. While not exactly a food, the classic hair treatment has been used for centuries for a gorgeous mane. “Because beer is rich in proteins and vitamins, through the natural barley and hops, it does contain nutrients for helping to develop healthy hair,” explains Dr. Ryan Welter, a Massachusetts-based hair restoration surgeon. “Many people have thus seen the benefits of fuller, thicker, and more bodied hair through the use of a beer rinse. However, it’s not acting on growing hairs, but rather existing ones.”
Don’t want to smell like a dingy dive? Celebrity hairstylist Marc Mena has one unique approach for adding beer onto your hair. “For a hygienically acceptable application, at the end of a shower, pour a flat beer over your hair straight from your roots,” he suggests. “Let it sit for 3-4 minutes and rinse with cold water to increase shine. To avoid the stench that can come with beer, follow up with a fragrant conditioner.”
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