My Mum is a minimalist in every sense of the word, particularly when it comes to self-care and beauty. Conveniently, she’s also naturally stunning (yep she’s one of those!) even at the ripe age of 62.
As a result, the only beauty advice I’ve ever received from her is that less is more; that I should embrace my natural beauty and avoid enhancing anything because the way that I am is the way that God intended me to be. And don’t get me wrong, I genuinely believe all that’s true.
But I’m also aware of the fact that if I leave the house without taming my hair or putting any concealer on, people will start thinking there’s a local casting for a Bollywood remake of Thriller! It’s cool, I’ve accepted dark circles and big pores as my lot in life (thanks Dad!). But in an attempt to reduce the number of perplexed faces I have to encounter whenever I leave my house, I’ve figured out some hacks over the years. Hacks which I believe make me look slightly more presentable and make me feel, well, good!
All the hacks require minimal effort, because like my Mum, I too favour the simple look, even if most of the time I have to fake it to make it. Some of them are beauty-related, others are more like self-care hacks that are all about feeling good, rather than necessarily looking good.
And one day, if I’m lucky enough to have a daughter, I’ll be passing these tips on to her, but until then, hopefully they can be of use to you dear reader! 😀
- For crusty soles, as soon as you get out of the bath/shower, scrub your feet with a pumice stone and then massage them with Vaseline. Put a pair of clean socks on and go about the rest of your day. Your feet will feel super soft after a few hours, not to mention the Vaseline doubles up as an odor eater!
- For patchy or thin eyebrows, or for those times when your eyebrow lady decides to ruin you for no apparent reason, try rubbing some castor oil on your eyebrows every day for a month; you’ll definitely notice a difference in your hair thickness. And don’t wax, pluck or shave…get them threaded. Threading doesn’t tug on your skin, it only targets the stray brow hairs and the results last for around 3 weeks!
- For any new acne facial scars, or hair straightener burns to your face, put some Sudocrem on the affected area once it’s healed, twice a day, the scar should fade and disappear after a couple of weeks. I know it’s typically used as a nappy rash cream, but don’t let that put you off, it’s multi-purpose!
- If you get your bikini area waxed, olive oil and sugar mixed together makes a great exfoliator to use in between appointments. I always have a tub in my shower. If you have a bad case of ingrown hairs, rub some Tend Skin Ingrown Hair Solution on the area as soon as you get out of the shower too, I haven’t had more than a couple of ingrowns since I’ve been using it.
- Add sun cream to your daily skin care routine, even if you’re brown and it’s raining and cold outside, DO IT! Damaging UV rays can penetrate ALL complexion tones and they age your skin: facts. I put some on my hands too to keep them protected.
- Get silk pillow covers for your bed, they’re so much better for your hair and skin; my hair is never frizzy when I wake up anymore.
- Massaging Bio Oil on to my face and neck every night before I go to sleep keeps my skin supple and prevents breakouts; no idea why, but it works!
- Did you know the most effective way of using deodorant is to put it on before you go to bed? It has time to absorb into your skin while you’re sleeping. Shower as you normally would in the morning and you’ll be much less stinky for the rest of the day!
- Tea tree oil body washes are great for pesky blackheads in areas that you can’t reach.
- Turmeric, honey, sugar and lemon mixed together make for an awesome face mask for a glowing complexion. Leave it on for anywhere between 15 minutes up to an hour.
- To make your perfume fragrance last much longer, first moisten the area you’re going to spray. I rub a tiny bit of Vaseline on my wrists and on the sides of my neck and then spray onto there. The scent will last all day!
- If you have oily skin and find yourself constantly dabbing at your face with a tissue all day, invest in a good mattifying primer, it’ll solve all your problems. I personally swear by one from Becca which my friend introduced me to.
- If you break a nail and it’s deep into your nail plate so you can’t cut it off just yet, wrap a waterproof plaster around that finger to avoid getting it caught in anything. Keep replacing the plaster for a few days until the broken part has grown out and you can safely cut it off.
- To reduce the appearance of big pores around my nose area, I use the Benefit POREfessional Primer. But rather than wiping it on my cheeks, I take a tiny amount of the product on my finger and press it into the holes in my face, like I’m filling them up, trust me this technique works like magic and it’ll work with any primer!
- To get wavy hair without heat, after washing, when your hair is almost dried but still slightly damp, twist it round and round in to a ponytail and then wrap up as a bun. Don’t touch it for a couple of hours, or better yet, sleep on it. In the morning you’ll have beautiful waves. To avoid frizziness too, put some hair cream or serum on before you wrap it up and it’ll be soft and smooth when you let it down.
- If you’re wearing lipstick and don’t want to be paranoid about having it on your teeth all day, I have a simple hack. Once you’ve put your lipstick on, make an O shape with your lips, stick your index finger in your mouth and pull out, any excess lipstick will come off on your finger and then you’re ready to go!
- Always use Miscellar water, coconut oil or tea tree oil to remove your makeup, DO NOT rely solely on makeup wipes because 80% of your makeup will still be all up in your pores after using them!
- Invest in a good hair mask and keep in for a few hours once a week before washing out. Or better yet, make your own using egg yolks and natural yogurt. Hair masks are much more nourishing than most oils which just sit on top of the hair shaft rather than infiltrating it.
- Use a nude eyeliner on your bottom waterline to really open up your eyes!
- For weak nails, do an olive oil soak twice a week and then massage your cuticles one by one.
- Never ever brush your hair when it’s wet! You’ll get lots of split ends and breakages.
- When cleaning your eyes with cotton pads, always use a separate pad for each eye to avoid spreading germs from one to the other. If I’m using a wipe, I’ll clean one eye using the top of the wipe and then flip it over and use the opposite end to clean the other.