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!