Secret beauty hacks no one told you about
In the fast-paced world of health and beauty tips, it’s difficult to separate the real good advice from the nonsense. Today we’re sharing 8 tried and tested beauty hacks to improve your skincare and makeup routine, that will potentially make your regime a breeze:
1. Dry Brushing
If you’ve never heard of dry brushing, now is a good time to learn. But first, a quick lesson in anatomy. Your skin is made up of three layers—the epidermis, the dermis, and the hypodermis. The epidermis is the top layer of your skin. It acts as a barrier for infections and regulates the amount of water released from your body through the skin. It is also made up of a whole lot of dead skin cells right on the surface. As you can imagine, dead skin cells do not look or feel very nice.
That’s where dry brushing comes in. In dry brushing, a coarse brush is used to rub in circular motions all over the skin. As the name suggests, your skin must be dry and product-free when doing this. It’s best to start in the extremities and work your way towards the heart. This helps drain the lymphatic system. It also improves circulation and, of course, the process helps your skin strip away all of those old, dead skin cells that are making it look dull and dry.
After you’ve completed your dry brushing ritual, it is the best time to apply your body oil or lotion. After all, what’s the point of moisturizing if you’re just slapping it on top of dead skin?
2. Cold spoons
Have you ever woken up with red and puffy eyelids and under-eye bags? Maybe you didn’t get enough sleep. Maybe you ate too much salt and are suffering from water retention. Or maybe you’re having a bit of hay fever. Either way, it’s happened to all of us, and it doesn’t look pretty.
The best quick fix for puffy eyes, whatever the reason behind them, is to press cold spoons to your eye area. Just leave a couple of tablespoons in the fridge or freezer—overnight is best but if you’re in a rush, they’ll be ready to use in a few minutes—and press the backs of the spoons to your eye area. Tip: if you’ve left the spoons in the freezer, run them under cold water first so they don’t stick to your skin.
This helps in a few ways. It constricts the blood vessels so that the blood that’s rushing in to cause redness and swelling can no longer get through as easily. It tightens the skin around the eye area. And it may even help to drain the lymphatic system—sometimes fluids can pool around the eye area while you’re sleeping if your head isn’t elevated properly.
No products, no hassle—whenever you’re feeling puffy, a couple of cold spoons are the perfect way to perk you up!
3. Cold Showers
Keeping with the chilly theme here, cold showers are another great way to improve the health of your skin and hair, as well as your whole body overall. They’ve been proven to improve sleep, immunity, circulation, and mood. Beyond that, for the aesthetic benefits, cold showers help burn “white fat”, the kind that makes us flabby and unhealthy, while preserving the healthy “brown fat” that keeps us warm.
Whereas hot showers actually dehydrate our skin and hair, cold showers help hydrate all of those tissues, leaving them feeling silky smooth. While it wasn’t the most comfortable experience, I can confirm that after 20 straight days of taking a cold shower every day, my skin and hair felt much smoother and healthier than they had in years. The effect was immediately apparent.
With productivity and personal development becoming increasingly popular topics online, this is a good time to experiment with cold showers to not only improve your skin and hair, but also your health and your personal discipline.
4. Tape Eyeliner
Anyone who has ever used eyeliner knows how difficult it is to get the perfect cat-eye. That’s why this trick is super helpful for anyone with shaky hands who still wants their eyeliner to look on fleek.
Just take a piece of tape—I like washi tape because it’s not as sticky as regular scotch tape and doesn’t pull on the skin as much—and apply it to the outer corners of your eyes in an upwards angle, in the direction your eyeliner would go. Make sure both sides are symmetrical. Then, use the tape as a guide when applying your eyeliner. When you’re done, just pull the tape away from the bottom side upwards to give your skin a lift.
This technique takes a bit of practice, but it will definitely help you get a nice, sharp edge.
5. Lavender oil
Lavender is mostly known for its soothing and anxiety reducing properties. While the smell of lavender is indeed a popular aid for battling stress and promoting better sleep, this lovely little purple flower also has another secret superpower.
We all have our fair share of scars, spots and marks on our skin. From stretch marks to acne scars and marks left over from childhood accidents, our skin goes through a fair bit of wear and tear. Lavender oil is one of the best natural remedies there is for fading out scars. It’s also an antiseptic, meaning it naturally prevents outbreaks by reducing the amount of harmful bacteria on our skin.
Just add a few drops of lavender essential oil to any generic cream or moisturizer, and apply to the affected area. You can use it on your face if you have acne-prone skin, or on your breasts, booty, tummy, thighs and calves if you have stretch marks. Use regularly and watch all those little marks and scars slowly fade away into a cloud of dreamy lavender aroma.
6. Prime Your Lips
For the longest time I never used anything to prime my lips before applying lipstick. I didn’t think it was necessary, or I didn’t even know that there were products available for this. But nowadays, before I do my makeup, I always take time to prepare my lips to make sure my lipstick application looks as smooth and beautiful as possible.
First, I start with a sugar lip scrub. This will buff away any dead skin from your lips and make them smoother, so that the lipstick doesn’t clump up in cracks and crevasses of dry skin.
Next, I use lip balm. I apply this generously on my lips before I start doing my makeup, so my lips can soak up the moisture while I apply makeup to the rest of my face. By the time I’ve reached my lips, they’re already smooth, plump, and hydrated.
I wipe off the lip balm with a tissue before applying my lipstick so as not to mess with the formula of the lipstick. Finally, if I’m feeling a bit “extra”, I might apply an actual lip primer to my lips. There aren’t a lot of brands that sell these, but one option is the Too Faced “Lip Insurance” lip primer:
I’ve found that this lip primer works best for bullet lipsticks, and doesn’t really do much for liquid lipsticks, so keep that in mind.
7. Silk Pillowcases
Here’s one to make you feel like royalty. Though this beauty hack is definitely very “extra”, but it does have some legitimate sense behind it. Sleeping on a smooth silk pillowcase protects your skin and hair. It reduces the chances of wrinkles forming over time from your face being smushed against an abrasive pillowcase, and it also doesn’t absorb moisture like cotton pillowcases do, which means your face will stay nice and hydrated throughout the night. Silk also prevents split ends.
It’s hypoallergenic, and stays cooler than regular cotton pillowcases, which would make summer nights much more comfortable. So if you feel like investing in a nightly pamper session, silk pillowcases are a game-changer.
8. Coffee Body Scrubs
While caffeine is generally not too good for the skin when ingested, it is great when used topically. Coffee body scrubs have soared in popularity in the last few years, and for good reason. The coffee grounds they’re made with provide the sensory boost we get from the smell of coffee, without the jitters, upset tummies and cranky caffeine crashes we get from actually drinking it.
Coffee body scrubs have two major effects on the skin—firstly, the coarse coffee grounds are a great exfoliator. They help buff away the dead skin cells, leaving behind the smooth layers of the healthy skin beneath. Secondly, caffeine helps reduce the appearance of cellulite. Unfortunately, this is not a permanent effect. The caffeine doesn’t permeate the layers of your subcutaneous fat and zap away your cellulite—but it does stimulate the skin in combination with the scrubbing motion in a way that plumps up the skin and makes the appearance of cellulite less obvious. It also contains antioxidants, which boost collagen production and keep your skin looking supple and youthful.
You can easily make your own coffee body scrub at home. There are plenty of recipes all over the internet. But if you’re a lazy girl like me, then you’ll probably want to buy one. A great brand for coffee scrubs is Frank Body—there are several scents and ingredient combinations, including coconut, cocoa, peppermint, and glitter. They all smell terrific and are so lush, comforting and reinvigorating on the skin. I’ve happily traded drinking my morning coffee for a morning scrub-down with coffee grounds.
We hope these beauty hacks come in handy for your next pamper session. Remember to take some time every week to wind down and go through a little self-care ritual. Your skin will thank you!