Back in the day, people didn’t have as many product options as we do now, and they had to make do. And you can, too! Rather than shelling out big bucks to solve your beauty woes, the antidote to your puffy eyes or dull hair might be waiting for you inside your cupboard or even in your purse! Check out the list below for ten surprising (and maybe a little strange) tips to up your beauty game.
When I was a kid, I remember my babysitter putting on her makeup while she got ready for a date. As she picked up her eyeliner pencil, she also grabbed a lighter and proceeded to light the tip of it. “It makes it softer and easier to go on,” she told me.
try it: Grab a lighter and run the tip of your pencil through the flame for a second or two. Afterwards, make sure to blow on it and wait a few seconds before putting it on so it’s not dangerously hot. It should go on smoother than ever before.
A good old-fashion face dunk into ice water can work wonders on a tired face. If you can handle the cold, it temporarily tightens skin and pores by constricting blood flow. Remember the famous scene in Mommy Dearest? You pretty much do the same thing in real life.
try it: Fill your sink or a bowl with cold water and ice cubes, and submerge your face in the water, holding it in place for eight to ten seconds. Bonus beauty tip: dipping freshly painted nails in ice water can help the polish dry quicker!
Late nights and hours spent staring into our computers can cause puffy, goblin eyes. So those little comforting bags of Earl Grey you have in your cupboard will not only quench your thirst, but they can help with those tired eyes, thanks to the anti-irritant properties found in tea.
try it: Steep two bags of tea in hot water for three minutes then put them in the fridge until they’re cold. Apply a tea bag to each eye and relax for ten minutes. Your eyes will feel refreshed and look less swollen.
Apple cider vinegar has been known for a variety of uses, especially for the skin. It can work as a great toner as well as help treat acne. The acidity in the vinegar can help dry out pimples, allowing healthier skin to take its place.
try it: Make a mixture that’s one part apple cider vinegar and four parts water, then apply to skin at night after cleansing. If you feel like you can use a stronger solution, try it with three parts water and so on.
Olive oil is not only a healthy and delicious cooking agent, but it’s a great moisturizer and can also help sass up dull locks! Olive oil is made up of fatty acids which coat the shaft of your hair which can keep it healthy and protected from damage.
try it: Heat up half a cup of olive oil in the microwave for about ten seconds so it’s warm, but not too hot. Apply thoroughly to hair and leave on for twenty minutes. Shampoo regularly, just note that you might need more than one wash-through. Your hair will be softer and shinier.
If you’ve got poker-straight lashes that refuse to curl, one of your everyday hair tools can help. And no, I don’t mean your curling wand (eek!). But think, a curling iron wouldn’t really work if it wasn’t heated up, right? The same idea goes for an eyelash curler, too.
try it: Grab your blow dryer and heat your eyelash curler for a few seconds. Make sure to test the temperature by touching the curler on your palm before using. Say hello to your new and improved lashes!
Sometimes you don’t need a fancy facial scrub to get rid of dry skin. A common kitchen ingredient like sugar can make a great exfoliant because of its natural humectants properties (it can keep things moist and hydrated naturally).
try it: Combine two parts organic sugar and one part olive or coconut oil. Gently rub into face, then rinse with warm water. You can also use this concoction to treat dry, chapped lips.
Let’s say you’re getting ready for an event and you’ve got a bright red zit that your concealer and foundation aren’t helping cover up at all. Got some Visine in your cabinet? It’s meant for reducing redness in eyes, but the same vasoconstriction properties can work on pimples, too.
try it: Soak a cotton ball in Visine and place it on your zit for a few minutes. It won’t make your blemish smaller, but it will minimize the redness, at least for a few hours.
The thought of using an avocado that’s been sitting in your fridge for something other than guacamole may bring a tear to your eye, but there are plenty of other wonderful things avocados can be used for, including your skin! The monounsaturated fats and antioxidants found in them can keep your skin moisturized, help reduce redness and irritation, and maintain its suppleness.
try it: Mash one avocado up and spread it across your skin. Leave on for twenty minutes or so, then rinse with warm water. Your skin will be ridiculously smooth.
Lemon juice was one of the most popular ways to lighten hair back in the day. I remember doing this in high school, when my friends and I would go to the beach. Lemons contain citric acid which can help open up your hair cuticles, mix that with UV rays, and you’ve got yourself a natural lightening agent.
try it: Squeeze juice from four lemons and mix with ⅓ cup of water in a spray bottle. Distribute evenly to hair, then hang out in the sun for about 45 minutes (don’t forget your SPF!). Rinse thoroughly and condition well. Your hair will be a couple of shades lighter. This works best on blondes or light brunettes.