Traditional Skin Care Recipes "Beauty Tonics"

Rose Water and Glycerin Skin Care
Rose water and glycerin has been a popular skin care product forever. The rose is anti-inflammatory and nourishing to skin while the glycerin helps pull in moisture to the skin from the air. It makes a great skin toner that is slightly astringent with oil free moisturizing, and just pure rose water alone can be used as toner. Here is a recipe to make your own and following this one is a recipe to make your own authentic rose water.
1 cup real rose water-recipe follows
(or you can substitute placing a handful of dry rose petals in a jar, cover with boiling water, seal and let sit overnight to infuse the water then strain)
2 teaspoons glycerin
4-8 drops of rose essential oil
Combine all in a jar and shake well to blend. Adding about ½ teaspoon of grapefruit seed extract will help preserve it so it will last longer.

How to Make Authentic Rose Water
Most rose water you purchase is not pure rose water but synthetic oil with water and preservatives added to it. Pure rose water is made by distilling water of roses and can also be used to flavor foods such as rice pudding and pastries.
You can make about a quart of high quality rose water in about 1 hour. Use caution not to simmer too long so the rose water essence doesn’t become diluted. Be sure to have a brick and heat safe stainless steel or glass quart bowl.
2-3 quarts fresh roses or rose petals.
Water and ice cubes or crushed ice
In the center of a large tall pot, like the round lidded type used for canning, place a fireplace or heatproof brick. On top of the brick place the heat safe bowl and put the roses in the pot, enough to reach the top of the brick. Pour just enough water to cover the roses and the water should be just above the top of the brick. Place the rounded lid upside down on the pot. Turn the stove on and bring the water to a rolling boil then lower heat to slow, steady simmer. As soon as the water begins to boil, put 2-3 trays of ice cubes or a bag of ice on top of the lid so the steam created in the pot will hit the cold lid and condense. The condensed water will drip down from the center of the lid and drop into the bowl sitting on the brick. This is a simple home “still”. About every twenty minutes, quickly lift lid and take out a sample of the water. It’s time to stop distilling once you have about a pint and a quart or water and it smells and tastes strong of roses.

Ancient Mayan Skin Cream Recipe
This cream has long been used by Mayans to keep skin young looking, softened and helps correct pH balance while fighting off damaging free radicals.
½ cup aloe vera gel
1/8 cup glycerin
1/2 to 1 teaspoon royal bee jelly
1 teaspoon plumeria flower essential oil (also known as frangipani)
Mix all ingredients together well and keep refrigerated up to 6 months in a glass jar. Massage into face at bedtime.

Puffy Under Eye Bags

Reduce Swollen Bags Under Eyes
Swelling under your eyes or saggy skin can be treated by rubbing a little Preparation H Hemorroid cream into them which helps draw out excess fluid and tighten skin up. This trick has been used by super models for years. Puffiness also can be helped with gentle tapping with your fingertips around the eye socket bone to increase circulation and rid the fluid buildup naturally. If the puffy bags are due to fat deposits, and not fluid, that is better dealt with by a dermatologist or plastic surgeon since it should be done with surgery. Sleeping with your head elevated also helps keep the fluid from collecting over night. If you apply a very heavy eye cream around your eyes at bedtime, that can also cause morning puffiness.

Blemishes: Preparation H, Visine, Potatoes and Green

Flatten and Treat a Raised Inflamed Pimple:
Rub hemorrhoid cream into the blemish to help take out the swelling or press an ice cube wrapped in a cloth over the raised area of acne. This may not take much of the redness out and if it is still red, dab some Visine eye drops on it to reduce redness. A slice of raw potato placed on the zit for about 10-15 minutes will also help draw out the redness. If you need to camoflage the redness, you can lightly apply a spot of green concealer over the red area before applying foundation. Red and green are opposite each other on the color wheel-when you mix the two together, they cancel each other out, neutralizing the red. After placing a spot of the concealer over the zit, touch it lightly with your fingertip to help the concealer 'melt' into your skin and blend better. Then apply foundation and powder. If it still shows, apply a touch of flesh tone concealer, touch lightly again and powder-repeat until it disappears. If you have a lot of bumps to deal with, do not draw attention to them. If your cheeks are affected, skip the blush and focus on another area of your face for makeup such as eyes. If your chin is broken out, don't draw attention to your chin with deep or bright lipsticks. For forehead breakouts, hide the area with bangs (clean hair only) or shift focus lower to your lips with brighter lipstick.
For thousands of additional tips and information: Beauty and the Budget at VirtualBookWorm

Is Your Hair in Good Condition?

Healthy Hair Tests
1. Put one of your hairs in a container of water and if it sinks, your hair is porous and dried out. If it floats, it’s hydrated because it can’t absorb anymore water (I just grab one that falls out on my sink counter and drop in the sink filled with water).
2. Grab a hair between your thumb and index finger of each hand and hold taut. Now pull on the hair a bit more and if it snaps immediately, it’s dry or damaged. If it bounces back into shape, it’s healthy. If it stretches but doesn’t break nor go back in shape, it needs some care for dryness or damage but is not completely beyond repair.
3. Try to thread a small needle with the end of your hair (not the end that came out of your scalp). If it snags in the needle eye, you have frayed, damaged hair or split ends.

Should you brush your hair 100 strokes a day?
Brushing too much can cause breakage especially if hair is not in best condition and can cause split ends. But it’s important to massage scalp and also distribute oils from the scalp down the hair shaft and brushing is the best way to do that. Be sure to use a natural bristle brush such as boar bristle which will cause less breakage and brush over scalp well to stimulate it and push oils down hair shaft but it doesn’t need to be 100 strokes. No more than a dozen strokes will do.

Dull Hair to Shiny Hair
When washing hair it’s as important to rinse, rinse and rinse again to remove all soapy residues from hair to prevent buildup or dullness. Take extra care when using natural home remedies like mayonnaise, avocado and egg to be sure you have all of it washed and rinsed out of hair so it doesn’t leave a sticky residue that attracts more dirt. Rinsing in cold water will not prevent your hair from frizzing up but it will make your hair shinier by helping to close the hair cuticle. Frizz is a result of damaged hair or the elements like humidity.

Eye Placement and Tips

Close Set Eyes
Generally female models are chosen because they have wide set eyes which appears more feminine (Katie Holmes is a very good example of someone with wide set eyes). Having close set eyes makes your features look crowded in the center of your face and makes the rest of your face look large. It’s ok for men to have close set or small eyes since making the face look larger appears more masculine. If you think that your eyes are close set, do not wear glasses with large frames as this will make your eyes seem even closer. Utilize eye makeup techniques concentrating on the outer half of eyes and contouring at the temple area to help draw eyes apart if your eyes are close set. And only pluck stray hairs in between brows to make your brows closer together which makes eyes appear set wider apart as well.

Makeup Touch Ups

Touching Up Makeup
- Remove all lipstick. If your skin is oily, blot the excess shine off by pressing either tissue or oil-blotting papers over face until the shine disappears before applying more makeup.
- After removing excess oil, use a fresh makeup sponge and smooth out foundation, blush, and contours with a gentle buffing motion, smoothing out things as you buff.
- Blend on a little extra concealer under the eyes if the area has darkened.
- If you need a little more foundation over blemishes or discolorations, blend it on now, avoiding blush and contour area.
- Dust a light layer of powder over the face.
- Apply more blush or contours if needed, but in a very sheer application since color grabs more over makeup that has been on the face awhile. Any areas that end up with too strong of color can be lightly swept with a synthetic makeup sponge to soften the shade.
- To touch up eyeliner, particularly under eyes if it has smeared, use the corner or side of your makeup sponge to remove any smeared eyeliner and reapply as necessary.
- If your eyeshadow has creased, blot the area lightly with a tissue or oil-blotting paper and then use a brush or sponge to smooth out color. Apply a powder over the area to even out the shadow and reapply color as needed to make your eye makeup look balanced. If you are heading for a more formal event apply shadow slightly darker than normal in the crease and add a little extra mascara if it has worn off.
- Reapply lipstick after touching up face makeup.

Foggy Glass Prevention

Keep Swim Goggles and Eye Glasses from Fogging Up
Coat the lens with Colgate toothpaste and polish off. You can also use this method for keeping windshields fog free, bathroom mirrors or any other type of glass or mirror. Or a trick all of us who are scuba divers know: Your saliva will keep lenses from getting foggy. Just spit on the lens (yuck I know!), rub it around and give it a quick rinse in water. Saliva is an excellent natural defogger.

Foot Problems

Sweaty Feet and Odor
The tannic acid in regular tea will temporarily inhibit sweat production. Add several bags of regular tea to your bathwater or foot bath. Soaking in tomato juice will neutralize odor. Tomato juice is such a strong deodorant, that if you or your dog gets sprayed by a skunk, a tomato juice bath will get rid of the smell. Clothing can also be soaked in it to remove odor (but will stain!). Try dissolving a package of jello gelatin in a foot bath for foot odor as well. Keep cornstarch sprinkled in your shoes to fight wetness and athlete’s foot. Apple cider vinegar’s acidity kills bacteria and fungi and will soothe dry, cracked skin on feet. Just add a cup of vinegar to your foot bath. Bacteria can’t grow in baking soda either because of its acidity so try sprinkling some on your feet and in shoes. Cypress and sage oils are good for reducing perspiration and odor of feet. If you get a fungus on your toenails or fingernails, apply some Vicks Vapor Rub or pure tea tree oil. Or make your own foot powder by incorporating several drops of essential oils of cypress, sage and tea tree into a base powder of part cornstarch and baking soda.
For many more tips and information: Beauty and the Budget at Virtual Book Worm=

Breaking in New Shoes Prevent Blisters

Foot Blisters
Most blisters from new shoes occur from stiff material digging or rubbing your skin. To help break in shoes without sacrificing your feet, a trick I learned in high school selling shoes was to first break down the stiffness in the back of the heel by ‘folding over’ the material. Push the back of the heel down into the shoe and ‘roll’ along the seam to break down and soften both the back seam and along the top edge. Soften the ball area of the shoe as well by bending the shoe repeatedly where the ball of your foot bends. Once you get blisters, the only thing you can do is cover them. The sooner you cover them, the better, and if you don't have access to bandages, use whatever you can to pad the rubbing area. If I'm hiking and getting a blister with no bandages, I'll pick some large, soft leaves from a plant and pad the area. For shoes that have a rough spot that irritates, try using a soft piece of cloth cut to shape. Apply rubber cement generously to the rough spot on the shoe and one side of the cloth, let both dry then press cloth firmly to shoe (this is called dry mounting). The rubber cement stays flexible.

Stretching Too Tight Shoes
You don't need to buy the expensive liquid from your shoe repair store that stretches out tight shoes. What it contains is almost exactly like rubbing alcohol but they put a huge price tag on it with a fancy label. Simply pour some rubbing alcohol into your shoe to saturate the inside, put the shoes on while wet and wear until well dried. To stretch a little more, repeat the process. Before doing this, you may want to do a patch test on a hidden area of the shoe to make sure alcohol does not damage a fabric color or material.

Professional Photography Makeup Contouring

Contour Makeup Techniques (Lowlights and Highlights)
A good alternative for makeup bronzers is to use it for contour shaping of the face which is what many makeup artists use to contour for professional photography makeup. Contours are used to shape the face and to play up or down facial features. For professional photography makeup, the heavy, oil based pancake makeup covers all flaws and discolorations, but it also tends to make the face appear flat and wide, particularly with the bright lights professional photographers use (and on fashion runways and stage); it washes out your features and lightens up all shadows, so applying contours (lowlights and/or highlights) is essential to achieve depth and dimension to your face and facial feature correction can be done at the same time. You can utilize the same techniques for everyday makeup or for special events but on a lesser scale so it doesn’t look artificial. Contours should be very carefully blended so they are not obvious. You don’t want to look like you have a racing stripe under your cheekbones. Use gentle zigzag or circular motions to blend the edges well so the edges fade into your foundation. You can play with light and dark shadows to minimize or emphasize features and alter the shape of your face. Remember the principal that dark shades make objects recede or look smaller, and light shades make objects appear larger or come forward. Just don't overdue it. To make sure the shadows look right, test a technique, then take a digital photo of yourself to check the results since it can be hard to determine in a mirror.

Contour Lowlights (darker shades):
Use bronzer one to two shades darker than your foundation. Contours can be used to shape the cheek bones, forehead, nose, chin, as well as creating a more exotic look for eyes.
Cheek bones:
To enhance cheek bones and make them more prominent and full, apply bronzer just under the cheekbones (and a highlighter to the top of cheekbones if desired for better results). Brushing bronzer from the hairline near the area where the ear attaches at the top, the contour should follow the line of your cheek bones, just under the bone (if you sucked your cheeks in, it would be the hollow area), and fade to nothing approximately two finger widths away from the corner of your mouth. Be careful not to get contour shadows on the jaw line and avoid angling the shadow downward toward your chin which results in a frowning look to the face. Blush should be applied as normal on the apples of the cheek starting in the center of the fattest part and blended back and up into contours so the two blend slightly. Don't over do it and take care not to get blush close to your eyes or nose which will result in a sunburned look. The blush color should be a light color and add just a healthy glow to your cheeks. If your face is very wide and full or cheekbones too prominent, you can play with shadows to downplay the width by lightly dusting the sides of your face with bronzer, concentrating the most color in the middle and fading upward and downward, then apply a bit deeper shade of blush than your skin would normally blush to, placed just slightly more to the outside of the apple, blended up and out toward temples. When applying shadows to cheekbones or sides of your face, use care not to pull the shadow over your jawbone which will make your jaw look like it disappears into your neck and lose jawline definition. This is one of the biggest mistakes I see girls do in my makeup classes. And be sure to pull color into your hairline so you won't have a pale strip that stands out. Also see tips under Hair catagories for styles that help alter or camoflage facial shapes.
To slim a wide nose, apply contour shadows on each side of your nose, blending carefully. Adding a thin line of highlighter down the center of your nose will slim it even more. Applying a slight shadow directly over the sides of just your nostrils will diminish the size of them. Just a touch of color is all that's needed to make a difference. When I show this trick to girls in my classes, they are amazed at the difference when we compare the side with the slight shadow and the one without. Placing a spot of bronzer to the center of the nose or bridge will help disguise a prominent bump. Place a little shadow just under the tip of the nose to shorten a long nose.
If you have a wide forehead, apply a light bronzer to each temple and blend well up and into the hairline. This will create a shadow effect causing the head to look more rounded and make your forehead appear narrower. If your forehead is high, place the shadow at the top of forehead near the hairline (and into the hairline) and blend well downward. For a large forehead (wide and high) place the shadow in a ‘C’ shape starting at the center of the forehead at hairline and sweeping across and downward along hairline into temple area. If you have sharp angles to your forehead (as with square or diamond shape faces), soften the angular areas by applying shadows on them into the hairline. For heart shape faces with large foreheads, dust bronzer all along the hairline, fading as you get to the temples.
To shorten a long chin, place bronzer on the tip of chin to shorten it or round out a pointy chin. For a broad chin, minimize it's width by placing a touch of shadow to either side of the center point of chin. To minimize a double chin, lightly apply bronzer just under the jaw line and blend it down, fading towards your neck. If you just have a little extra fat under your chin, lightly dusting bronzer on the fatty part will help disguise it.
Bronzer applied at the outer corner of the eye going upward toward the temple will give the eyes a more exotic, cat eye look. This should appear as an extension of your eye shadow for the correct application with the two blended together carefully.

Contour Highlights (lighter shades):
Highlights are a shade or two lighter than your foundation that can be used to either correct facial features or add radiance to your complexion. Using a highlighter over your foundation high on your cheek bones will give a dewy, youthful, glowing effect to your face and can create fuller, more prominent cheek bones. Dot the highlighter along the highest part of your cheekbones, beginning about the center of your eyes and up and out toward hairline, blending carefully with a patting or stippling motion. Highlights are best to use instead of lowlights if you have a very long or narrow face and want to widen it. Placing the cheek bone highlights more horizontal will help widen your face and you can apply a bit of highlight along a weak or narrow jawline to help widen or define it. Contour brow bones or eyelids to make them look radiant and stand out. Highlighter placed in a V shape between your brows and blended well can also create a radiant glow to your face and help a small forehead look larger. To utilize highlights for other facial corrections: putting a strip of highlight down the bridge of the nose will make a small nose look larger or longer. To make a small chin appear larger, apply highlighter to the center of the chin, directly under the center of the lip. Pearly highlighter can be placed in your décolleté as well for luminescence. You can add a drop of it to your normal foundation to brighten up your makeup or select areas to highlight. For pearl or luminescent highlighters, choose one with gold (for warm skin tones) or pink (for cool skin tones) and it should be lighter than your foundation by only one or two shades. Avoid using white tones to highlight since it can look severe, and on darker skin it will appear ashy. Also note that when correcting facial features with these techniques, you don't want to make too many corrections to all areas for everyday makeup. It may look ok for the stage but will look clownish up close. Select the feature you most want to play up or down and concentrate on that area instead of all over your face.

Professional Photography Makeup Foundation and Basics
For foundation, the industry favorite is the tried and true "Pancake" oil based makeup since it is heavy and covers everything depending on how thick you apply it. I instruct the girls to apply heavier in the center of your face where blotchiness and redness is most prominent and 'sweeping' the remainder toward the hairline and under jaw. You want to make sure all traces of redness, blotches, blemishes, undereye circles, etc. are erased. I prefer the 'stippling' method of applying pancake makeup with a sponge for best coverage and finish. Putting a thin layer over eyelids helps remove any darkness or redness so eyeshadow goes on true to color, really opens eyes and assists in blending makeup. The heavier the foundation is applied, the more powder it will hold and should be powdered well (with translucent powder so as not to change your foundation shade). Eyelids especially need extra powdering so they don't crease up under hot lighting. After powdering your foundation, you would then want to apply all your contours needed as described above and then put on blush which goes on the apples of cheeks and blended back into cheek contours. See the catagory on "Makeup Tips" for proper placement of blush and color choices as well as eye makeup tips. You can then apply whatever eye makeup look desired but keep in mind that with professional photography, stage, runway and TV, the lighting is very strong so you have to compensate by applying makeup heavier, darker and define your features more. Lips should always be lined so your lip line does not disappear in the bright lighting. It takes a little practice and experimenting to determine just how much more makeup you should wear with extra lighting. If you are interested in commercial work, television use to always use the traditional pancake makeup, but with the creation of High Definition TV and the amount of detail it shows, pancake makeup will be too obvious now and I would expect TV to move to airbrushing stage makeup for a more perfect finish. That doesn't mean you should go out and purchase an airbrush machine for your makeup-they are very expensive, most TV stations will probably have one on hand for doing makeup.

Bronzers and Makeup

Bronzer Application Tips
If you apply bronzer to your face for a ‘sun-kissed’ effect, you could end up with skin that has no natural looking depth if you apply too much all over. To counteract the flatness of color, use a brighter shade of blush on the apples of cheeks and blend edges well in circular strokes. Be sure bronzer is applied just to the areas where the sun would naturally hit your skin so it resembles a real sun-kissed look (bridge of nose, top of forehead, cheekbones and tip of chin) and choose a bronzer that is only a shade or two deeper than your skin tone. Be very careful about applying bronzers all over the face-have you ever seen someone from a distance with lots of bronzer on and their eyes look like ‘reverse racoons’ being left white? Be careful you don’t make this mistake-it’s hard to tell up close you made the mistake but it shows up very plain from a distance or in photographs. This can also occur by putting too light a shade of concealer under your eyes as well.

Natural Makeup Remover

Inexpensive Easy Makeup Removers
To remove makeup naturally without clogging pores and moisturize skin at the same time, use unrefined pure oils like jojoba, wheat germ or rose hip oil. Massage it directly into your skin or wipe skin with a cotton pad saturated with the oil. Finish by gently wiping skin with a steamy, damp cloth.

And most any heavy skin cream will work as a makeup remover if you don't have oily skin. Nivea Cream is great as a makeup remover for dry or aging skin, is very inexpensive and has been around a very long time all over the world. Opt for the Nivea Cream in the jar which is the original thicker version and not the lotions. Yogurt will also gently clean makeup off while moisturizing skin and nourishing.

For thousands of additional tips and information: Beauty and the Budget at VirtualBookWorm

NonDrug Treatment for Upset Stomach

Nausea Relief

Try this trick next time you feel sick to your stomach: Lay flat on your stomach and instead of having the pillow under your head, place it under your stomach (with no pillow under your head). My mother used this technique with me since a very young age and it almost always cured my upset stomach-and it still does today. Other natural remedies for upset stomach are teas made from Chamomile (for cramps and indigestion-avoid if allergic to ragweed), Ginger (for morning sickness or motion sickness) or Peppermint (for irritable bowel, overeating stomach aches). For sea sickness on sailing and boating trips, looking at the horizon helps ease symptoms as does going to the lowest level of the vessel where it doesn't sway as much. And munch on saltine crackers. Don't leave your stomach completely empty.

Natural Sinus Pain Treatment

Sinus Relief Rub
For relief of sinus pressure and pain, mix up the ingredients below and apply a little of the oil to your middle finger, gently massaging in small circular motions along sides of nose, under cheekbones and above the eyes, over eyebrows:
Use a light weight carrier oil such as almond or grapeseed and to about 5 tablespoons of the carrier oil, add a couple drops of each essential oils: Roman Chamomile, Eucalyptus Radiate, Tea Tree, Peppermint and Ravensara. Store in a small bottle with an eye dropper or squeeze flip cap or roll on. A web site I highly recommend that sells all of these oils is Quintessential Oils at
For natural relief while sleeping or resting I would recommend a Sinus and Headache Herbal Pillow

Eyebrow Tips and Shaping

Taming and Shaping Brows - Fix Missing Brows
- Your best brow shape is your natural one but removing the stray hairs under your arch and outward will open your eyes dramatically. A lot of stray hairs under your brow will also prevent you from getting the perfect eye makeup effect.
- Tweeze brows no further in than the inner corner of eye, taper slightly toward outer end.
- Your brows should 'frame' your eyes well so don't make them too thin or remove the tail end. Take a look at the movie queens from the 1950's for ideas on perfect eye framing.
- To open "closed" eyes: look straight ahead, where your pupil is, arch your eyebrow higher by tweezing thinner from this point outward.
- Before you pluck your eyebrows, brush them up and then sideways. This shows the natural pattern of your eyebrow and can show any unruly hairs that need to come out.
- Small eyes: make your brows a little thicker by building them up just a bit on top to emphasize them. Clear out straggly hairs underneath, and arch them slightly in the outer third to give more space.
- Deep-set eyes: again enlarge the space between the eyes and brows; raise the brows slightly by penciling in a little above the bone.
- Close set eyes: widen the space between the brows a little by plucking, and extend the pencil line at the ends.
- Wide set eyes: pencil eyebrows a little closer to the nose, and do not extend them out at the ends
- Bug eyes: tweeze out any hairs that grow down too far over your eyes and raise the brows slightly from below.
- The tail should extend at least in line with the outer corner of your eye.
- Never overpluck: often plucked hairs don’t grow back in and as you get older your brows become thinner and lighter and you may be sorry by making them thinner when you’re young. If they appear too bushy, instead of plucking to thin them out, trim the hairs instead. A good way to do this is to brush them straight up and trim across and then straight down and trim again.
- Choose an eyebrow pencil or powder in a shade slightly lighter than your natural brow color to fill in any bare spots.
-To lighten up black brows, use bronze mascara and lightly brush over brows to tone them down.
- To tame brows, put lip balm or clear gloss on them or spritz your pinky with hair spray and run over them and then brush in the direction you want.
- If you wear bifocals, try wearing them upside down to pluck your eyebrows.
- For plucking eyebrows and other small areas for minimal pain, try baby ambesol (for teething pain). It numbs the area in seconds, doesn’t drip and wipes right off when you're done.
- If your brows are sparse, missing the tail end or you are missing eye brows altogether, it is possible to get them tatooed on. This should be done by someone trained in cosmetic permanent makeup application. Never use a traditional tatoo shop for your eye brows. Keep in mind that "permanent makeup" is really not completely permanent. It generally fades over about 2 years depending on how well you take care of it using sunscreens, mild cleansers, etc. Permanent makeup can be used on most any area of the face and even on scars to enhance or disguise areas but it's very pricey. Be aware though that not all permanent makeup technicians are created equal and one with no artistic abilities or unsanitary practices can really mess up your face. Make certain you get references first.
- An alternative to tatooing eye brows is to carefully draw them back in with a pencil using short feathery strokes and use brow sealant to keep them set all day without smudging, or opt for a waterproof pencil.

For thousands more of additional tips and information: Beauty and the Budget at VirtualBookWorm

Fighting Belly Fat Dilemma

It’s Not Just What You Eat...
The all too familiar diet frustrations: you starve yourself and count every calorie and still you can’t lose weight or that annoying belly fat. Recent research has proven that when levels of stress go up, it can also push up your weight gain even if you don’t increase your calorie intake. Stress releases a chemical reaction that triggers fat cells to grow and multiply and much of that excess fat tends to accumulate around the belly and waistline. Studies also show that belly fat is the most dangerous to your health and increases risks of hypertension, diabetes and heart disease overall. Be aware of your overall health and the amount of stress you’re under to help control the battle of the bulge. The higher your stress levels, the more likely you are to accumulate the extra pounds. Not to mention that stress has a whole host of other ailments linked to it and can affect your overall health and well being. It can even be the source of premature wrinkling, skin and hair problems. Stress can also cause you to make bad choices in food and snacks when you’re on the run or eating ‘comfort’ foods and increasing calorie intake. If you feel under pressure, take a look at what things in your life you can reduce, control or eliminate to reduce stress. The most effective way to fight this type of fat is with exercise since exercise lowers stress hormones and leaves you relaxed. Even 15 minute brisk walks can help considerably. Another remedy is to incorporate any activity you find calming into your routine on a regular basis. Meditation and yoga are great therapies to break the stress cycle.

Your Body's pH Balance

Acid vs Alkaline Balance and Your Health
Keeping your body’s pH balance on the alkaline side is very beneficial for your health and immune system. Bacteria and viruses have a much harder time surviving if your system is alkaline.  A diet with lots of starches, carbohydrates and sugars will make your system very acid. Eating alkaline foods like veggies, fruit keeps your alkaline levels up. If you feel a head cold or flu coming on, drink water throughout the day that is spiked with a shot glassful of apple cider vinegar. Acidic citrus juices work well too since they also contain vitamin C, but the high content of sugars added to most juices can cancel out the benefits of making your body alkaline. I’ve even noticed that I’m less bothered by mosquitoes when my body is very alkaline which comes out through your skin as well. Gout is also caused by eating highly acidic foods like meats, carbs and sugars.

To Keep or as Gifts

Homemade Bath Salts
Epsom salt is magnesium sulfate which draws out toxic substances from your skin as well as relieving aching or tired muscles. Baking soda refreshes and cleanses skin.
Mix together:
1 part each baking soda and sea salt (or Dead Sea salt)
2 parts Epsom salts
To each cup of the mix, add about 20 drops of desired essential oils as desired and blend the oil well into the dry mixture. Seal in an airtight jar. Package it in decorative jars with your custom label to give as gifts. Add about a handful to bath water. Examples of oils to experiment with: lavender, rose, tea tree, rosemary, sandalwood, eucalyptus, lemon, carrot seed. It can be oils that help repair skin, or your favorite aromatherapy scented oil, or a combination.

Evening Out Skin Tone for a Youthful Appearance

Skin Spots, Freckling and Discoloration

Skin pigmentation problems, either dark or light colored spots that cause uneven or blotchy areas and freckling, are from disorders of the melanin (producing too much or too little) that makes up the color in your skin. These skin discolorations are what make your skin appear much older than it really is. If you have ever applied makeup foundation properly to even out your skin tone, you know that it can take years off your face. Sun exposure is the number one cause of skin spots and blotchiness, and eventually, wrinkling and skin cancer. Heat can also cause skin age spots. There are other causes for skin pigmentation problems such as scar discoloration from past rashes, cuts and acne which usually shows up more significant on darker skin than fair skin. Another is from hormonal changes. Pregnancy, birth control pills, hormone replacement therapy and even normal monthly hormone fluctuations can all cause areas of the skin to darken. One of the most common areas where this happens is over the top lip, which can get dark enough to look mustache-like. And exposure to the sun can make this color change accelerate.

The best treatment for skin spots is to keep your skin protected from the sun as much as possible throughout your lifetime. If you already have damage, other than having a doctor perform laser or chemical peels that remove significant layers of skin, the best treatment is using products that contain ingredients that block some of the production of melanin in the skin, like hydroquinone (higher concentrations of 4% must have a prescription but lower concentrations are available over the counter), azelaic acid in 15% to 20% concentrations, kojic acid or licorice extract. None of these ingredients will actually bleach skin which is not possible; they just keep your skin from producing the excess chemical that makes skin darker. Use these melanin inhibitors in combination with chemical exfoliators like Retin-A used along with Alpha Hydroxyl Acids (AHAs) to remove the top darker layers of skin while the melanin-inhibitors help prevent the darkness from reforming. Then use sunscreen of at least 30 SPF at all times with coverage from clothing, hats and sunglasses everyday or the color will quickly reappear. Using tanning beds and sun lamps will also damage and darken spots as bad as or even worse than the sun.

Vitamin C in cosmetics and taking vitamin E oral supplements may help keep the dark spots from coming back as well. Dark spots caused by scarring can take years to lighten but using Retin-A with AHAs can help speed up the process a bit. Even though AHAs do not inhibit melanin production (they work by increasing cell turnover, shedding skin layers so newer skin is revealed), lactic and glycolic acid forms of AHAs may inhibit melanin since their molecule size is smaller than other AHAs. Keep in mind that Hydroquinone breaks down very easily and quickly after opening and being exposed to air and light makes it ineffective. Choose these products in containers with small openings such as tubes instead of large mouth containers made of transparent glass or plastic which expose it to more air and light degrading it faster.

Strawberries For Both Aging and Oily Skin

Strawberry Facial
This facial is great for aging skin since strawberries contain AHA and vitamin C, both anti-aging ingredients touted in many store bought cosmetics. Strawberries are also excellent for oily skin. Always test the ingredients on the inside of your elbow or wrist for allergies before applying any facial.
2 large ripe strawberries
1 Tablespoon almonds ground up fine
1 Tablespoon Milk
1 Tablespoon Kaolin or other facial clay
Prepare ingredients:
-Mash 2 ripe strawberries well in a bowl and set aside.
-In another bowl, combine 1 tablespoon milk with a little bit of the mashed strawberry to create a facial cleanser.
-In another bowl, combine the almond powder with about ½ teaspoon of the mashed strawberry to make a facial scrub.
-To the remainder of the mashed strawberry, add 1 tablespoon kaolin clay and mix well adding a little milk if needed to make a smooth paste for a facial mask.
Facial Procedure:
1. Pull hair off your face with a headband and begin boiling a large pot of water.
2. Using clean cotton pads dipped in the strawberry cleanser, massage the cleanser gently into skin then rinse very well with lots of water.
3. Gently massage the strawberry scrub into your face for a few minutes and rinse very well with water. Pat skin dry with clean towel.
4. Pour the boiling water into a large bowl and ‘tent’ a towel over your head to steam your face about a foot above the steaming water. (Skip the steaming if you have broken capillaries from Rosacea or have asthma). Let face steam about 10 minutes.
5. Apply the strawberry mask to your face and lie down to relax for 20 minutes. Rinse well with lots of water and pat dry.
6. Apply your favorite moisturizer.

Facial Shapes and Hair Styles

Best Hairstyles for Your Face Shape
Also see under categories Model Tips or Makeup Tips for answers on how to contour your makeup to correct facial features.
Oval Face Shape
Oval faces are considered ideal and can wear a wide variety of styles since your features are well balanced.
Best Style for Oval Faces:
Hair pulled back or away from your face looks great but you can pull off most any style. You may want to consider your body frame for choosing a style to compliment. If you are petite, choose less full, sleeker styles that aren’t too long and don’t overwhelm your small size. Larger body frames can wear fuller or heavier styles and in longer lengths.
Updos for Oval faces:
Most anything will work for oval faces-with or without bangs.
If you want to play up areas of your face:
Bangs will accent your eyes.
Layers cut to angle in toward your face will draw attention to and accent the feature where the angle ends. For example, if you have angles cut in your hair ending near your nose, your nose will be more noticeable and accented.

For other face shapes, many people are varying degrees of that shape or fall into categories that can be in between two different shapes and should follow guidelines for both shapes.

Heart Shape Face
The forehead is much wider than the jaw/chin area by comparison, making the upper half of your face appear top heavy. Often, your hairline at the center of the forehead dips down to a point to complete the classic heart shape, but not always. The goal is to diminish your forehead width and create more width to your small jaw line or pointed chin.
Best Styles for Heart Face:
A chin length bob is perfect on your face shape combined with bangs. Bobs tend to be fuller at the bottom, and bring width to your thin jaw bone and hide the width of your forehead. Stay away from styles that add fullness to the upper half of your face. Height at your crown just brings more attention to your diminishing jaw line. Full or wavy bangs will look good, as will a side part with bangs swept softly to the side. A style with curl or fullness to the chin area will also help round out your features. Parting your hair in the center will tend to emphasize your pointy chin so stay with side parts to balance face. You will look good with layers of hair swept forward around your upper face and since most heart faces have great cheek bones, show them off by drawing attention to them with wisps of hair at your ear level.
Updos for a Heart Face:
To make your forehead appear less wide and jaw line less tiny to achieve a balanced face, if your hair is shoulder length or shorter, you might wear your hair 1/2 up / 1/2 down with fullness focused on the down part. Have bangs and wisps on your face. Avoid pulling all your back into a slick style. Be sure to have at least some wisps of hair covering your forehead.
For Accessories: Wear large, wide, dangling earrings such as big hoops that give the illusion of a wider jaw area. Avoid V shape necklines which accentuate your narrow, pointy chin.

Triangle or Pear Face Shape
This shape has a chin or jaw area wider than the forehead, the opposite of the heart shape face. Your goal is to narrow the chin and widen the forehead.
Best Styles for Triangle/Pear Faces:
Chin length or longer cuts are best for you. Styles full at the temples, tapering at the jaw will look good as will shags and wedge cuts. Hair looks best parted off center since a center part will only call attention to an off balance face shape. Avoid too much height at the crown and long, full styles that draw attention to the jaw area. Instead, keep hair fuller in the temples areas and angle layers forward toward the chin to soften and narrow a broad jaw. Layers will help achieve a fuller look on the upper half of your face and thinner layers brought down over jaw line will help soften that area.
Updos for Triangle/Pear Faces:
The main objective is to make your forehead look wider and your jaw smaller, so choose a style that will give you more fullness near the crown area such as full bangs and sweeping curls above the temple area. Leave stray hair out and tuck behind your ears. Or angle wisps of hair toward your lower face to soften the jaw line. Any updo with lots of texture to the top and sides will look very nice.
For Accessories:
Avoid heavy looking earrings that will make your face appear even more bottom heavy. Choose small studs that don’t stand out. Or instead of earrings, wear a hair ornament near your temple area. Soft necklines such as cowl necks will help diminish your strong jaw line.

Oblong or Rectangle Face Shape
Thin and long, often with a chin that can look pointed or rounded. There is very little difference in width between the top, middle or bottom of your face but it is longer than the square face. Your goal is to add width and fullness to the center sides of the face, around the eyes, cheekbones and ears to shorten the length of your face and widen the sides.
Best Styles for Oblong/Rectangle Faces:
Short to medium lengths with fullness at the sides of your face and at your eyes and cheeks. Parting hair on the side will help to balance and keep attention away from how long your face is. Avoid height to your crown or long hair, particularly if it is straight. Shorter or medium lengths look best which shortens the face length. Layers also look good on you to soften the lines of your face as will full styles with an asymmetric flow to one side. To get volume at the sides of your face, add curls or waves there or cut hair in layers. Bangs are a good choice for you to shorten your face especially bangs that fall straight or tapered to blend in with the rest of hair.
Updos for Oblong/Rectangle Face:
Since you want to make your face appear to be shorter, updos work well on you especially slicked back updos. If you add a part to your updo, part it to the side or try a style with ½ up and ½ down. Stay away from tendrils at the sides of face since it will elongate.
For Accessories:
Choose earrings that will give some width to your face such as wide post studs and avoid long, skinny, dangling earrings. Using a hair ornament to hold bangs back will look nice and diminish a square look to your face. Stay away from necklines that mimic your face shape such as low cut, narrow lines and choose wider, open necklines.

Square Face Shape
Will have an angular jaw and square brow, with jaw and brow being nearly the same width. Square faces can also be short and wide. Your goal is to soften the sharp angles of the jaw line and squared-off brow and lengthen your face.
Best Styles for Square Faces:
Hair cuts that emphasize your cheekbones at mid-line of the face are flattering. Avoid bangs cut straight across which widen the face and add even more angles. Wispy bangs that taper on the sides or waves at the temple will soften the square shape of your face. Wear hair coming forward onto the face to reduce the angles and parted on the side. Hair length is best about 1-1/2" below the chin since long, straight hair will accentuate square jaws. Avoid bob cuts that are cut straight at the jaw and instead layer a cut below your jaw line. Layers and wisps of hair framing your face will soften the lines as will rounded type hair cuts. Waves or curls will also help break up the sharp angles of your face. Keep some height at your crown to elongate your face.
Updos for Square Faces:
If you have shoulder to chin length hair, you can dress it up by adding volume with layers. If you want to wear it up, add wisps around the face and bang areas. Curly type of updos look best on you.
For Accessories:
Avoid wide earrings or large dangling ones that widen the look of your face. Choose longer style earrings with slim shapes or earrings with curvy sweeping lines to break up the angles of your jaw. Stay away from squared off necklines and choose round or V necks or necklines that help elongate your look.

Round Face Shape
Tend to be round and full at the cheeks, appearing circular, heavier near the ears and gradually curving upward and downward.
Best styles for Round Faces:
You want to slim your face to make it look longer. Hairstyles with fullness and height at the crown will draw attention upward giving you a longer face shape. Layered cuts look best with the height or fullness at the crown and not at the sides. Off center parts will draw the eye to one side of face offsetting the round effect. A center part only draws attention to the center of your head and places an accent on the roundness. Keeping forehead bare will lengthen the face but if you do decide on bangs make sure they are not cut straight across which shortens your face. Keep bangs tousled and off to the side. Avoid hair cuts that are jaw length or shorter. A short cut will make your face appear heavier. If you do choose a short style, have close sideburn wisps to soften the sides of your face. Never wear chin length styles with rounded lines. Fullness at the sides of your face will accentuate the roundness. The best cut is longer and closer to your face such as a layered cut that has angles toward your face and height at the crown.
Updos for Round Faces:
Avoid slicked back styles without hair touching your face. A style that adds focus and height to your crown is best, for example a French twist with curls piled on top looks very nice. Do not add width around the sides of your face, this will make the face appear wider. As long as you have a focal point such as curls on top or tussled bangs to the side, this will draw attention away from the roundness.
For Accessories:
Stay away from large, round or wide earrings which have a widening effect on your face or mimic your face shape. Instead, try long, thin, dangling earrings to lengthen. Avoid necklines that mimic the round shape and choose V necks or squared off necklines for example.

Styling Hair in a Hurry

Speedy Blow Drying
To style hair very quickly while blow drying, don’t bother styling the bottom half of hair, just clip top damp sections to the top of your head and quickly dry the bottom section. Then take the top section down and style just that portion using styling tools.
Quick Body without Washing
If you don’t have time to wash your hair but it looks limp and lifeless or oily at the roots, use a blow dryer on your roots to help distribute the oil down the hair shaft which will add some body and reduce some of the oiliness near the roots that make it flat.
-For thousands more of additional tips and information: Beauty and the Budget at VirtualBookWorm

Facial Feature Problems

Correcting Problem Facial Features with Hair
Face Too Full:
Putting a side part in hair will slim and lengthen a face that's too round or full.
Thin Face: Curls or fullness at the sides will widen a long, thin face.
Large Nose: A full hairstyle or upswept crown makes the nose less noticeable.
Sharp, Angular Features: Wavy or curly hairstyles will soften a chiseled cheekbone, nose or jaw.
High Forehead: A horizontal line of full bangs can cover the forehead, and balance your face.
Strong or Square Chin: A short cut with soft curls or fullness at the crown, takes attention away from the chin.
Narrow Chin: Long hair with fullness at the chin will balance a narrow chin.
Low Forehead: Vertical lines and soft fullness at the crown can lengthen the face.
For lots more tips and information: Beauty and the Budget at VirtualBookWorm

Broad Spectrum Sunscreens and Burns

UVA & UVB Blockers
Since UVA rays (that cause wrinkling and skin cancer) penetrate clouds and windows, choose a sunscreen that includes a UVA blocker along with a UVB blocker (the rays that burn, damage and tan your skin). Recently, the FDA approved Mexoryl SX which is considered the best UVA blocker so far and it doesn’t degrade after prolonged sun exposure. It can shield against a larger portion of UVA spectrum than other blockers. Also, look for sunscreens labeled “Broad Spectrum Protection” which means it protects against both UVA and UVB rays. There are two types of sunscreen-physical or chemical. Chemical sunscreens absorb UVA before it can penetrate skin. Some good chemical blockers for UVA are: avobenzone, Parsol 1789, Mexoryl, oxybenzone. Physical sunscreens are better for sensitive skin but are heavier and can be chalky such as: titanium dioxide, zinc oxide. Since 89% of skin aging is due to exposure to UVA rays, be sure to wear a blocker every day, even when it’s cloudy.

If you do get Burned
Take aspirin to keep skin damage from inflammation to a minimum and ease the pain. Apple cider vinegar added to cool bath water also help take the heat out of a burn. Some of my friends and myself swear by applying Nivea Body Milk to a sunburn to take the redness and burn out faster and we used to buy it by the bagful when visiting Mexico since it's also a really nice light body moisturizer. I highly recommend Nivea creams-they have been around for decades and the most popular cream worldwide-and for good reason, it's excellent!

Under Eye Circles

Dark Circles
If you have dark bluish circles under your eyes, it's a result of seeing the color of the blood capillaries under your skin, or even the capillaries leaking blood in the area just like a bruise. Under eye skin is very thin and fragile so treat the area tenderly by not stretching or pulling which will cause damage. Products with vitamin K can help reduce the color, but be sure to keep the area very well moisturized to plump it up and keep it healthy since dry skin is thinner, more translucent and will show the color more. The thicker your skin is, the less you'll notice discoloration under the skin. Using a chemical exfoliant like AHAs over time will help thicken skin as it removes the old skin cells and replaces it with healthier skin with additional collagen. The older you get, the thinner the skin becomes, so keeping it well hydrated with creams containing rich nutrients is very important.

To camoflage the blue circles with makeup, use a little yellow concealer under your foundation. I tell my students to recall their basic art class of the color wheel when concealing unwanted spots. The complimentary colors on the color wheel when mixed together will cancel each other out-so if you have a purple spot you want to cover, using the color opposite of it on the color wheel-yellow-will cancel out the purple. Green concealers will cancel out the red of a bad blemish. And violet concealers will neutralize yellow tone spots. Just be sure to use colored concealers sparingly since using too much will result in a dark brown or ashy looking spot and take care to apply it only on the spot you want to cover and not on any surrounding skin, and always use under your foundation, not over it.

For thousands of additional tips and information: Beauty and the Budget at VirtualBookWorm

Apple Cider Vinegar

The Many Uses of Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar has so many uses it's a great item to keep on hand in your pantry and it's very inexpensive. It can be used as a hair rinse to clarify product build up, makes hair shiney and helps control dandruff and oiliness. Also use it as a skin toner after cleansing your face instead of using high priced store bought toners. The antibacterial properties of vinegar help keep acne under control and rids skin of excess oil without stripping your skin of it's natural protectants since it has the same pH balance as your skin. Simply mix 1 part apple cider vinegar with 2 parts water (since straight vinegar can be too strong for skin and hair). Use on a cotton pad wiping over skin or pour over hair after washing and don't rinse. Since vinegar can be a bit drying, do not use on dry skin or dry/damaged hair.

Diluted vinegar can also be used as ear drops to help prevent ear infections. Soak your feet in vinegar water to reduce bacteria and keep feet odor free and prevent foot fungus from developing. It helps reduce the itch and sting of insect bites when poured over them. If you feel a cold or flu coming on, mix a shot of vinegar to a glass of water and drink all at once or sip throughout the day. It works on the principle of making your body more alkaline which fights the germs (bacteria cannot grow in alkaline environments). Eating a lot of carbohydrates makes your body more acid which in turn makes it more susceptable to germs that feed on it. Keeping your system more alkaline helps keep you healthy. There are even diets that use vinegar to help you lose weight. Ancient people traveling to unknown areas where they would be eating food they were unsure of, would first drink vinegar to protect their stomachs and keep from getting sick. Words of caution: Never ingest apple cider vinegar along with baking soda or even Alka-Seltzer. If you want to see what happens when the two are mixed, try mixing them in a bowl and imagine the eruption that would occur if that were in your stomach. Also, if you drink vinegar along with dairy products there is a chance it can curdle in your stomach and make you sick to your stomach if you tend to be sensitive. If you intend on drinking vinegar on a regular basis, the acidic properties of vinegar can eat away at tooth enamel over time. Use a drinking straw to sip it so it has little to no contact with your teeth. You can swish the vinegar solution around your mouth to help fight bacteria just don't do it continuously. For a trusted source of medical advice with information on your health and vinegar visit WebMD. They state that medical studies about the use of vinegar for treating cancer, blood pressure, obesity weight loss and diabetes is promising. Always keep in mind that vinegar should always be diluted since it's a strong acid.

Vinegar will safely clean your floors, windows, etc without damaging any surfaces and make them bacteria free. It removes soap residue and sticky labels. Remove wallpaper by wetting the wall with equal parts vinegar and warm water. Eliminate smokey and other odors by boiling water with a generous amount of vinegar added to create steam. Add a cup to your load of laundry to rid clothes of body odor and musty or sour smells of linens. Reduce the saltiness of soup or stew by adding about a teaspoon of vinegar. Soak sponges in vinegar to remove odor and disinfect. Clean drains by pouring 1/2 cup baking soda down drain and follow with 1/2 cup vinegar, let stand 5 minutes and run hot water. Mix equal parts flour and salt with enough vinegar to make a paste to polish metals or make a paste of vinegar and cream of tartar to get grime off pots and pans. Keep cut flowers fresher by adding 1 tablespoon vinegar and 1 tablespoon sugar to 1 quart water in the vase. For a great, inexpensive glass cleaner recipe, mix 1 quart water with 1/2 cup vinegar and 1 cup ammonia. And of course it's a natural preservative for food-when have you ever seen pickles spoil? Clean up pet urine accidents on carpet and other surfaces with vinegar which neutralizes the urine ammonia smell and helps keep pets from soiling the same area again. When you give your dog a bath, a vinegar rinse will keep their coat shiney and helps keep insects away. Cleaning musty smelling antiques with vinegar helps remove the bad odor. With all the uses of this cheap miracle liquid, be sure to keep a gallon on hand!

Insect Repellant & Treating Bug Bites

Bug Bite Relief
To bath water add about a cup of apple cider vinegar (or substitute the juice of a few lemons), about 10 drops of lavender essential oil and about 5 drops of thyme essential oil. Don’t get the water in your eyes since it will sting. Or try applying a little lavender oil or vinegar directly to the bite. Baking soda made into a paste and applied to the bite also works well to neutralize the toxin, or add a couple handfuls of baking soda to your bath water. Meat tenderizer made into a paste also neutralizes stings and bites, as well as WD-40 spray (supposedly works for arthritis too when rubbed into joints I’m told). Chigger bites can be neutralized with Preparation H cream. A ground oatmeal paste applied to insect bites helps stop itching or soothes skin rashes. An excellent preventative for biting insects is to eat a lot of garlic which comes out through your skin as a natural repellant. I even plant garlic mixed in with my other plants to help keep insects away. Garlic has so many other health benefits that the natural, chemical free repellant just gives you a bonus. It also acts as a natural antiseptic when applied to the skin.

For Canines being Bugged
We always put fresh clove of garlic in our dog’s food daily and it worked wonders for fleas and ticks even when the dog spent most of it’s time wandering wild fields. When I got a Great Dane that was completely infested with fleas, I fed him fresh garlic daily and in less than a week, every flea was gone! I’ve read that you should not give your dog garlic but we fed it daily to our St Bernard and Great Dane and neither had any ill affects from it ever-just insect free coats. Use care though when feeding much of it to smaller breeds.

Choosing Lip Color

Whiter Looking Teeth and Lipstick Colors
To make teeth appear whiter, choose darker lipsticks that create the most contrast and shades with cool undertones such as reds with a blue cast to it and pink tones instead of orange based shades which will make less than white teeth look worse. It also helps to pick gloss or satin lipsticks instead of a matte lipstick to keep imperfections less noticeable. But remember that dark shades will make your lips appear smaller and thinner so if your lips are already small, avoid too dark shades and pick a bright or sheer blue-red or pinks.

Reduce Swelling From Cold Sores

Cold Sore Treatment
Use a hemorrhoid cream like Preparation H to reduce a swollen cold sore (avoiding any lip areas where you might be licking it off). Applying ice to the swollen area can help reduce the fat lip as well. Keep the area well moisturized to help prevent hard scabbing and scarring. To help prevent cold sores, avoid too much sun exposure which can bring them on as does excessive stress and eating too much of items like chocolate and walnuts. If you get cold sores occuring frequently, try taking the amino acid suppliment L Lysine to help reduce the number of outbreaks. To help camoflage a breakout, wait till the weeping stops and lightly pat on foundation or concealer just to the breakout after you have moisturized it, and apply powder on top. Repeat applying concealer and powder until it is less noticable. For the lip area, apply a good moisturizer, then lip balm to seal in the moisture and on top of that an opaque lipstick with a good moisture base-avoid matte lipstick which dry the lips (lipsticks labeled 'long wearing' are very drying) and make the sore stand out more. Keeping it moist constantly with an antibiotic ointment or vitamin E oil will help it heal faster and reduce scarring. Bag Balm ointment (available in most drug stores near skin creams and very inexpensive) is also great to use for healing and reducing scar formation, especially at bedtime-use a generous amount to cover well.

Treating Sore Gums

Sensitive Gums
Rub some aloe vera gel on gums and let it sit for a while, or use aloe vera juice to swish around your mouth and teeth to strengthen and heal gums. This can also help protect gums before using tooth bleaching or whitening kits if they irritate your gums. Honey is also a natural antimicrobial. Take a spoonful of honey once or twice per day and let it linger around your gums. Green tea is very healing. Drink a couple cups per day (home brewed, not bought in bottles which are usually spiked with sugar and chemicals, making the problem worse) and be sure to swish around your mouth well. For temporary relief of sore, irritated gums, use baby Ambesol (for teething toddlers) to numb the area. If the soreness is long term, get to a Dentist to find out what's wrong since gum and dental problems can be serious. Brushing with baking soda and peroxide helps keep gums and teeth healthy.

Make Your Own Toothpaste & Mouth Wash

Mint Toothpaste Recipe
Combine about 6 teaspoons of baking soda, 4 teaspoons glycerin, 1/3 teaspoon salt and about 15 drips of wintergreen or peppermint extract found in the spice section of grocery stores. Mix thoroughly to a tooth paste consistency. Store in a container.

Lemon Mouth Wash Recipe
Combine ¾ cup of vodka, 1 cup distilled water and about 20 drops of lemon essential oil and 30 drops of bergamot essential oil in a bottle, shake well and allow to sit for about 1 week, shaking once a day. When ready to use, dilute it with 3 parts water to 1 part mixture. Use it as a gargle or mouth rinse. Do Not Drink.

The Simplest Toothpaste
Don't forget the tried and true method of inexpensive toothpaste to make yourself. Just add baking soda to hydrogen peroxide into a paste and brush. This is a very old, effective recipe that helps keep gums healthy and teeth white and polished.

For thousands of additional tips and information: Beauty and the Budget at VirtualBookWorm

For Singers and Speakers

Clearer Voice
Gargle with oil for 40 seconds and for better results take a little sip of the oil. This can really help sooth your throat and create a clearer sound before singing or even before giving a speech if you tend to get hoarse from talking too loud. Choose an oil with a flavor you don’t mind like extra virgin olive.

Natural Whitener for Teeth

Whiten Teeth
Rub one or two sage leaves on your teeth (fresh, not dried). Baking soda gets the toughest coffee stains out of mugs so it will help remove stains from your teeth as well. Just rub some over teeth. Or use a mixture of baking soda and hydrogen peroxide to whiten teeth. Strawberries as well can help whiten teeth when rubbed over them regularly. If you plan to purchase a product to whiten teeth and don't want the high price of Dentist whitening (which by the way gets the best results-you get what you pay for when it comes to whitening), the best product is Crest Whitestrips. Don't waste money on any other brands. But over the counter tooth whiteners work mainly by dehydrating your teeth and not really changing their actual color and will revert back to the same color after a period of time, which is not so with whitening by your Dentist.

Sunscreen Information

Avoid Tanning & Burns---
Avoid Wrinkles & Skin Damage
Use the highest SPF you can, at least 15 SPF but 30 or higher is better. Apply sunscreen at least 15 minutes before exposure to the sun so it can absorb into your skin properly. Reapply often and especially after swimming or sweating since no sunscreen is water ‘proof’-they are just water ‘resistant’. Most clothing fabric will allow the sun to penetrate through the fibers and expose skin to harmful rays. The denser and thicker the fabric, the better protection it gives. Some fabrics even have sun protection ratings for outdoor activities. When wearing sheer or lightweight fabrics, apply sunscreen on your skin as well. Check the fabric’s coverage by holding up to the sun or a light bulb and seeing how much light it lets pass through. Sunscreens with ingredients of titanium dioxide, zinc oxide or avobenzone are considered the best protection. Sesame oil is a natural sunscreen screening out as much as 30% of the sun’s rays-a good alternative if you have sensitivities to the chemical sunscreens. Most people can tolerate zinc oxide without sensitivity since it’s a natural mineral and not a chemical. Tanning beds emit mostly UVA light and is extremely damaging to skin cells and causes wrinkles, especially since the light is only inches away from your skin. The darker your skin, the more melanin you produce and the less susceptible you are to sunburns since melanin absorbs the sun’s UV rays. Darker skin does provide some protection from damage by the sun but dark skin is still at risk for all effects of sun damage--skin spots, freckling, burning, wrinkles, skin cancer. If you do get a sunburn, try soaking in a bath that has a large jar of Nestea added to lukewarm or cool water. My book has lots more tips and remedies for sunburns: Beauty and the Budget at VirtualBookWorm

Wrinkle Treatment/Prevention

Help Eliminate Wrinkles Overnight and Early Prevention
When you wake up and look in the mirror, do you see any ‘sleep lines or creases’ that develop overnight from your face compressing against the pillow? Those lines you see will eventually end up as permanent deep lines in your face. Sleeping on your back will keep your pillow from smushing your facial skin that causes these lines. A trick you can use if you can’t sleep on your back, or even if your face goes into frowning mode while sleeping: use paper medical tape (the type that is thin and softer) and apply to your forehead lines and around your eyes before going to bed, carefully peel off in the morning while holding skin taut so as not to stretch it. There is also a special pillow you can buy that is "C or D" shape and cradles your head while your face is not touching the pillow. You can substitute a similar pillow-the ones sold for travel that are "C" shaped used around your neck and just use as a regular pillow instead. Preventing sleep creases will also help you get going faster in the morning when you don't have time to wait for the creases to disappear. Check here for a Contoured Pillow or here for a Travel Pillow

Frowning and grimacing will create lines and wrinkles too that deepen over time and are hard to treat. Whenever you are alone, putting a piece of Scotch tape over the area where you frown or grimace will remind you to stop, such as between your brows, forehead or crows feet area around eyes. Don’t forget to wear sunglasses whenever outside so you don’t squint. Drinking from a straw constantly (or smoking) will give you the vertical lines around your lips. If you must use a straw, just close lips around it without puckering up.

Keep skin moisturized all the time, especially aging skin that produces much less oil on it's own, so wrinkles are less noticable and help prevent lines from forming. While your skin is still moist from washing, applying a rich skin cream to help trap the moisture in your skin and keep it in all night. The best ever selling face cream used by women all over the world for decades is Nivea Cream It's very budget priced and I know I can find it in any country I travel to (my personal recommendation is the heavier creme in the round blue tub-it's a wonderful emollient for those of us over 50 and very basic but really excellent). My mother used it almost all her life, she's 80 and looks fabulous! And it feels wonderful on dry, itchy skin since it's a much thicker cream-it has a consistency of creamy butter. If you want to be budget minded and save money, buy the Budget Size Nivea Cream I sometimes like to tailor it to my owns needs by mixing in some essential oils that suit my skin type such as carrot seed oil, lavender or chamomile. You can find a variety essential oils, I particularly like Carrot Seed Oil because it's naturally antiaging, another form of vitamin A which is what Retin A and Retinoids are made from but you don't need a perscription for the natural oil-a few drops go a long way and ends up very cost effective. For information on the properties for various essential oils, my book Beauty and the Budget at VirtualBookWorm goes in depth for what you should use for different skin problems. Keep me bookmarked as I will be adding information here in the future on different oils.

For those with acne prone skin, avoid the heavy creams since they can clog pores, but you probably already have plenty of oils to lubricate skin, so a light, oil free moisturizer is all you need. Nivea has an extensive line of products that I would highly recommend for cleansing, sunscreens, products for men, antiaging creams, etc.; you may want to take a look at their line: Nivea Product Line

More Uses for Preparation H...

Sagging Skin, Facial Lines, Undereye Bags and Hemorrhoid Cream
A quick, temporary fix for a big night out if you have forehead frown lines, loose upper arm skin, etc., areas you want to tighten up, apply Preparation H hemorrhoid cream which makes skin look taut and smooth, including areas with cellulite. Supermodels use this quick fix for all kinds of areas they want to depuff or tighten up. The one everyone’s heard of is applying it to undereye bags to eliminate puffiness. This is not a recent vogue technique, it's been around for decades. See other articles here under the catagory 'Preparation H Hemorrhoid Cream'. And for those wanting to know if Preparation H will reduce their belly fat or flatten their stomach... sorry, it won't do that much! The ingredient in hemorrhoid cream draws excess fluid out and tightens up top layers of skin but it won't affect the fat under your skin. Your only options for reducing your belly is diet and exercise-or liposuction which is expensive, painful and invasive.

For thousands of additional tips and information: Beauty and the Budget at VirtualBookWorm

Wrinkles, Aging, Acne a Result of Stress?

Stress and Skin Problems, Acne and Aging
Skin is your body’s largest organ and it has immune system functions to protect your health just like other organs. Stress alerts the hypothalamus which sends a message to the pituitary gland and on to the adrenal glands. The adrenal glands react within minutes to the stress by producing cortisol stress hormone. This production of cortisol in your system causes inflammation in organs which in turn produces ‘oxidants’ that damage cells. Short term, this inflammation can ward off disease but if the inflammation becomes chronic it can harm the body in many ways with a large variety of illnesses. This is also true for the skin as well. If a pore is inflamed due to production of cortisol, it is thick with swelling and more likely to become clogged and result in a blemish. And when the collagen in your skin becomes inflamed, its structure breaks down and causes wrinkles and sagging. The more stress you’re exposed to and the longer, the more skin problems may worsen such as premature aging, wrinkles and acne. Even the facial expression responses to stress (frowning, pursing lips, etc) can really speed up the wrinkling process. Acne in teens is shown to flare up and become 23% worse around exam time when stress is greater. When you combine the fact that teens normally produce more sebum oil in their skin at their age, with inflammation from cortisol, you’re sure to have zits. And the teen years can be filled with stressful life changes. Most often when anyone is under stress, the first thing they do is throw healthy habits out the window-they skip exercising, eat junk food or smoke, omit skin care routines, etc. To reduce the effects of stress on your skin (and the rest of your organs), prepare for stress and give yourself breaks so you can handle the situations better. Don’t cut out exercising during stressful times, in fact that’s when it’s most beneficial. In as little as 15 minutes of brisk walking a day, your endorphin levels will be raised which boost mood uplifting chemicals in your brain. Things that improve endorphin levels and also relax your body/mind are yoga, meditation or massage. And absolutely don’t forget to give yourself plenty of sleep since that’s a time of healing and sleep is a natural anti-inflammatory which brings down cortisol levels. Antioxidant vitamins and minerals like vitamins A, C and E and zinc can also help ward off the cell damage caused by chronic inflammation. The best form of getting these vitamins are always from your natural food sources of course, but there are plenty of supplements on the store shelves along with lots of skin products containing antioxidants and vitamins for external use as well. Green tea is well known for its internal and external benefits of being a strong antioxidant so make use of these natural healers internally and externally as well.

Skin Creams and Vitamins
Vitamins A, C and E often are antioxidant ingredients added in expensive skin care products to rejuvenate and repair skin cells. You can add these skin healthy vitamins to your less expensive creams by puncturing the vitamin gel capsule with a straight pin and mix a few drops into your dollop of cream, or apply a thin film directly to skin before massaging in your cream. Keep in mind that the vitamin strength and integrity will diminish quickly once it is exposed to air so only use one small capsule at a time. Use the straight pin to plug the hole in the capsule if you need to use it over a few days. The best time to use creams with vitamins or rejuvenating nutrients is before bed since sleep helps your skin to repair itself.

When looking for a base cream or lotion, hyaluronic acid and peptides based creams help plump up skin with moisture which makes wrinkles look less noticeable. Glycerin can absorb moisture from the air making your skin look more dewy and moist. For oily skin, serums can hydrate skin without clogging pores or making skin look oilier. Serums are also good to use for damaged and aging skin as well. They are lightweight, don’t look greasy and they tend to have more potent levels of skin repairing nutrients that absorb quicker which can make them more effective rather than heavy creams that tend to lie on top of your skin.

Pumpkin Facial

Fight Off Aging Skin with Vitamins from Pumpkin
Pumpkin is very rich in vitamins A, C, antioxidants and zinc, which are all great for your skin to nourish it and fight off signs of aging. Microwave some pumpkin pulp until it softens and let cool. Keep in the frig for up to a few days to keep fresh. To use, you can blend it with some yogurt or raw egg or just use the pumpkin on its own, apply to clean face and neck and leave on 30 minutes while you relax then rinse. If your mask is too thin and runny, add rice flour or ground oatmeal to thicken it, or if it’s too thick, add a little water or other nutrient rich liquid such as aloe vera gel, milk, pineapple juice, etc.

For thousands of additional tips and recipes: Beauty and the Budget at VirtualBookWorm

Green Tea Spa

Green Tea Oil:
Green tea is well known for its healing, anti-aging and rejuvenating properties both when drunk as a tea and applied to skin. First prepare some infused green tea oil in advance. Take a small, clean, dry, sterile glass jar. Fill with green tea leaves then fill the jar with a good quality carrier oil such as Jojoba oil (a good oil for healing skin and is a liquid wax which keeps a lot better than most oils without going rancid) or avocado oil (with it’s smaller molecules that penetrate skin better). Cover the jar and set aside in a warm place to infuse for 4 to 6 weeks. When infusing is complete, strain the oil into a clean, sterile, dry glass bottle, ready for use.
For your night time Green Tea Spa:
Make a pot of green tea using green tea leaves or green tea bags (1 teaspoon of green tea leaves or 1 green tea bag for every cup of hot water). Sip a cup of green tea while waiting for some of the tea to cool. Mix equal parts green tea with almond flour to use as a green tea scrub and massage into cleansed skin. Mix 1 cup rice flour with enough green tea to make a paste and apply to face avoiding eye area for a green tea mask. Leave on 20 minutes before rinsing. Mix 1 teaspoon of green tea with 1 teaspoon of milk, saturate a cotton pad and wipe face as a green tea toner. Finish up by applying your green tea oil moisturizer before hitting the sack.

Nourish Your Skin

Softer, Glowing Skin
Mix honey, glycerin and lemon juice in equal quantities and store in a jar. Apply mixture on the face and neck. Massage well and leave it on 20 minutes before rinsing.

Replenish, Brighten and Clean
To equal parts flour and yogurt, add a dash of lemon juice. Mix well until it becomes a paste. Apply to face avoiding eyes. Leave on until mask hardens, then rinse with warm water.

Avocado Peel Moisturizer
Never throw away the peel of an avocado which makes a wonderful facial moisturizer and mask. The oil contains a humectant, a substance that holds moisture. Using gentle upward strokes, lightly massage your face with the inside of the peel and allow the oil residue to remain on skin about 20 minutes. You can either leave the oil on your skin and go to bed or, if you intend to put on make-up, just rinse your face gently with three or four rinses of tepid water and pat dry. The oil creates an invisible layer of protection, ready to hold your foundation or powder in place.

Brighter, Glowing Complexions

Honey Cleansing Scrub
Mix 1 tablespoon of honey with 2 tablespoons finely ground almonds and 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice. Rub gently into face and rinse with warm water. Brightens skin while cleansing.

Purifying Barley Cleansing Scrub
Add ground up barley to your liquid cleanser to purify and exfoliate gently. Drinking barley water was used centuries ago by women for pure, glowing complexions. You can boil barley in water like a tea or add barley to your soups.

Asian Face Brightener
This is an ancient well known recipe used by woman in India and Asia to brighten the complexion as well as lighten dark spots due to acne. It rejuvenates and gives a glowing complexion:
1 teaspoon Lemon juice
2 tablespoons Gram flour* (ground chick pea) can be found at Indian/Asian markets
Milk-enough to make a thick paste (whole milk, not low fat)
1/2 teaspoon Turmeric powder also found at Indian/Arabic markets (this may cause a slight yellow tint on light skin and can be omitted if the tint is undesired)
Combine all ingredients to form a thick paste, apply to face and let it sit for 5-6 mins. or until semi-dry. Slightly massage and Rinse off with lukewarm water and finish off with a cold splash. The flour particles act as a fine exfoliater, lemon as a brightener, milk as a softener, and the turmeric is used for it's antiseptic properties and for toning medium to dark skin.
*A substitute for Gram flour can be regular flour, but end results may vary.
An alternate recipe that was used for the same purpose by Asians:
To some flour, mix enough milk (whole milk, not lowfat) to make a paste, add a little turmeric powder, some lemon juice and honey. Apply to face and let dry, then rinse off.
For lots more tips and recipes: Beauty and the Budget at VirtualBookWorm

Manicure Tips

Whiten Nails
During your manicure, soak nails in warm soapy water with a cup of hydrogen peroxide added. This will whiten your nails and get rid of yellow stains and at the same time kill off bacteria. You can also rub lemon slices over nails to help whiten. If discoloration is due to fungus, you must first eliminate the fungus. Use tea tree oil on your nails regularly and soak nails in warm water with half apple cider vinegar added to help remedy the fungus.

Natural Nails
Instead of polish, leave nails natural and keep them shiny and smooth with a buffer nail sponge, brushing it across nails in quick back and forth motions. You can also make them shiny in an instant by rubbing vitamin E over them and it will look like a glossy top coat. It also keeps nails healthy.

Helping Polish Stick
Use face toner on a cotton ball and swipe nails with it to remove natural oils or hand cream residue. Polish will not adhere well to nails with any oiliness and if you use a skin toner that's good for your facial skin-it's also good for your cuticles!

Nail Polish Fast Dry
In a pinch, Pam cooking spray will dry nail polish quickly when sprayed over nail surface. I like to clean out an old nail polish container really well with nail polish remover, refill it with baby oil (mineral oil) and brush it on after my manicure to help speed drying. This is also great for brushing the oil over your cuticles daily to keep them soft and moisturized and bare nails shiney.

For lots more manicure tips: Beauty and the Budget at VirtualBookWorm

Damage from the Sun CAUTION!

It’s not just your face and body that suffers the ravages from the damaging rays of the sun. Lips are very sensitive and easily damaged. Wearing lipstick helps protect lip skin from damage and possible future skin cancer. The more opaque a lipstick is, the better protection it provides from ultraviolet rays. Women typically develop lip cancer less than men simply because they wear lipstick regularly. For sheer lipsticks and balms, make sure they contain a sunscreen of at least 15 SPF.

The sun damages eyes too. Eyes can’t shed layers and repair tissue the way skin does, so the damage accumulates, causing permanent vision problems. Be sure to wear sunglasses with lenses rated for 100% UVA and UVB protection that covers the entire eye area. The larger the glass frames the better, and wrap around styles give the best protection. Good sunglass coverage around your eyes also helps protect the most delicate skin you have-around your eyes. Celebrities don’t wear oversized sunglasses just for the style! You can purchase contact lenses that provide UV protection as well.

UVA rays can pass through glass so even sitting behind glass in your office or car will not protect you against damage from the sun. The rays that can get through glass may not burn you but in time will cause wrinkling. Take for example some curtains hanging in your window for years and how the fabric after a period of time begins to shred, but if that same fabric was not exposed to sunlight (even behind glass)it would retain its color with no damage to the fibers-the same is true for your skin. Tinted glass provides some protection but still doesn’t block out the rays completely and the percentage blocked depends on the type of tinting used. Even indoor fluorescent lighting can emit some UV rays. These UV rays also cause damage to hair, making it drier on the upper layers and fading color so don’t forget to protect your hair from rays as well. Even fingernails can suffer from the effects of the burning rays, with damage resulting in dry and brittle nails.

Self Tanners

Tanning Skin Color from Natural Products
Spread moist coffee grounds on your face for a natural looking tan, leave on for about 20 min. then rinse, tan should last for about 3 days.

Another solution for a natural looking color is to use pure cocoa. To some of your favorite white lotion add pure cocoa powder until you get the desired shade (color will appear much darker in the lotion than it does on your skin). This is good to use on your body as well since the cocoa has a tightening effect which is good for cellulite and your skin in general. Substituting loose bronzing makeup powder for the cocoa will also work. Be sure the lotion doesn't clump in any areas like knees and ankles.

A trick women in the 1940s and 50s used was Tincture of Iodine (a brownish orange antiseptic liquid found in the first aid section of stores). They added the desired amount of the Iodine to a bottle of baby oil and massaged it into their skin to get a suntan color. Do not use on the face if you have oily or acne prone skin as the baby oil (which is just mineral oil) can clog pores. You could also try adding the Iodine to an oil free lotion for your face instead of baby oil.

Camoflage Tan Lines from your Swimsuit Straps
Use some bronzing powder on a small eyeshadow brush and dust lightly along lines. For longer lasting coverage, paint the lines carefully with self tanning cream.

Under Eye Circles and Makeup

Treating and Camoflaging Blue-Purple or Brown Under Eye Circles
Treat brown colored circles with a cream containing hydroquinone to fade the brown spots over time and treat blue or purple color circles with creams containing vitamin K (vitamin K helps eliminate bruising discolorations elsewhere also). Key to avoiding undereye circles is to keep the skin moisturized-when undereye skin is dry, circles will be darker. As you age, circles become darker since the skin dries out and gets thinner which shows a lot more of the blood vessel color from underneath your skin. To brighten dark circles that are greenish or purplish, use a pink (for purplish) or peach (for greenish) toned corrector base or concealer stick, then layer over that a yellow tone concealer if they are still noticeable. To keep focus on upper part of eye instead of the circles under eyes, don’t line lower lashes and apply brighter pink or peach on apples of your cheeks to draw focus away from undereyes. If eyelid skin is dark or reddened, lighten lids up with a pale shadow. Applying foundation under your eye makeup will also do wonders for lightening and brightening your whole eye area making you look younger, fresh and wide eyed. Avoid using concealers that are more than about 1 shade lighter than your skin or you’ll look like a white eyed raccoon. For aging or dry skin around eyes, go easy on the concealer since too heavy an application can look pasty and age eyes more or create crepiness around eyes.

Makeup Tips for Aging skin

Eyes and Lips and Cheeks
For aging eyes, use natural looking shades and keep eyes subtle but apply brighter colors on your lips to draw attention away from lines around eyes. Choose a brighter lip color that compliments skin color and helps brighten up your whole face since skin begins to look dull and paler as we age. Avoid very dark colors with makes lips look thinner and can age your face. Also be sure the lipstick is loaded with moisturizers to keep lips moist. Dry lips look older and thinner so stay away from matte lipsticks which dry the lips. Don't forget to add a little color to your brows as well since they fade and thin as well with age. Eyes should be framed well with your brows for a youthful look. Blush should be subtle and a creamy base for dryer, older skin, applied to just the apples of the cheeks and fading up and out along cheekbones.

For thousands of additional tips and information: Beauty and the Budget at VirtualBookWorm