Before there was a product for every imaginable beauty woe (lash conditioner, cuticle softener, lip buffer), women took a simpler approach to hair and skin care. Dry skin might merit a slathering of olive oil, while puffy eyes called for cucumber slices. Now it seems grandma was ahead of her time: Many of today’s top spa treatments take their cues from old-fashioned home remedies, and there’s science to back up the ingredients’ effectiveness.
Here are some natural skin savers which you can purchase at your local grocery store.
Use it to calm and soften skin
Why it works: Soothing and anti-inflammatory, oatmeal contains beta glucan, a soluble fiber that creates a thin, moisture-retaining film on the surface of the skin.
How-to: Place a handful of whole oats in a clean washcloth and using a rubber band to secure it. Next, immerse it in a sink full of warm water and squeeze the bag 4 or 5 times. Once the water is cloudy, splash it on your face and then air-dry. (If you must towel dry, pat as gently as possible.)
Use it to pump up flat, dull hair
Why it works: Yeast and hops help to swell the hair shaft and plump the cuticle, adding volume. The acidity of the beer helps remove built-up product residue.
How-to: In the shower, after you’ve shampooed, pour a bottle of beer over your hair. Rinse briefly with fresh water (the idea is to avoid the beer smell while retaining the beer’s body-boosting benefits). A rich beer with a high yeast content works best. (Read: No light beer.)
Use it to repair dry, sensitive skin
Why it works: Avocado oil’s abundant fatty acids help balance skin’s moisture levels, and the antioxidant vitamins A, C, and E protect skin from further damage.
How-to: Combine equal parts avocado oil and evening-primrose oil in a sealable bottle and shake to blend. Massage 5 or 6 drops into clean skin, and then cover your face with a warm washcloth for a minute to help the oils sink in.
Use it to exfoliate hands and feet
Why it works: Rich in oil, walnuts make for extra-gentle sloughing.
How-to: Blend 1/4 cup shelled walnuts, 1/2 cup olive oil (for extra emollients), and a tablespoon of honey (to seal moisture into your skin) in a food processor set on a slow speed, creating a fine-particle scrub. Standing in the shower (if you’re scrubbing your feet) or over a sink (if it’s for your hands), work the mixture thoroughly over your skin for a couple of minutes. Rinse with warm water.
Use it to slough dry skin off heels, knees, & elbows.
Why it works: The fruit acid loosens dead skin cells.
How-to: Cut a fresh orange in half and squeeze the juice of one half into a bowl. Add 1/4 cup granulated sugar and 1/4 cup olive oil and then blend into a moisture-rich scrub. Next, rub the exposed side of the other half of the orange over knees, elbows, heels, and any other dry spots. Last, rub in the sugar mixture to slough off dead skin. Rinse with warm water and pat skin dry.
Use it to soothe and soften dry, sensitive skin
Why it works: The lactic acid in milk serves as a gentle skin exfoliant, while its natural fat content acts as a body moisturizer.
How-to: Add 1 gallon of whole milk to a tubful of warm water and soak. It’s a great alternative to sugar and salt scrubs which may be too abrasive for people who suffer from eczema, psoriasis, or sensitive skin. If you prefer a fragranced bath, add 10 to 20 drops of an essential oil such as lavender.
Use it to add strength to damaged, weakened hair
Why it works: Eggs’ high protein content helps improve hair’s resilience and luster.
How-to: Whisk together 1 egg, 2 tablespoons coconut oil (“rich in moisturizing fats), and 2 tablespoons sesame oil. Apply the mixture to dry hair and wrap a hot, moist towel around your head. Relax for 5 to 10 minutes. Without wetting hair first, work in a handful of shampoo, and then rinse and condition your hair.
Use it to fight breakouts
Why it works: Its high acid content makes skin inhospitable to blemish-causing bacteria.
How-to: Place a handful of parsley (a skin-clarifying herb) into a French press (or coffee press) and cover it with 1/2 cup of boiling water. Steep for 10 minutes, and then plunge and let the liquid cool. Transfer to a spray bottle along with a splash of vinegar and 4 drops of tea tree oil (an antiseptic), shake well, and spritz on a freshly cleansed face. (Store the spray bottle in the fridge.)
In the century since William Entenmann opened his first bakery in Brooklyn, the Entenmann’s Bakery brand has burgeoned to the point that it’s the top selling sweet baked goods brand at supermarkets nationwide. For the first time translating some of that best-selling-baked-goods mojo into a recipe book for use at home, Entenmann’s has come out with Entenmann’s Big Book of Baking
. I like the fact that there is a whole chapter on crumb cakes. This Blueberry Crumb Cake is my favorite.
Cake Batter Ingredients
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
¾ tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp fresh-grated nutmeg
1 ½ sticks unsalted butter
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup sour cream
¼ cup milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp lemon extract
3 cups fresh blueberries
Crumb Topping Ingredients
2 Tbsp sugar
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 cup all-purpose flour
Note: These amounts are an adaptation: I doubled the crumb recipe to put more crumbs on the cake
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
2. Butter, or spray with cooking spray, a 13 x 9 x 2 baking pan and line with parchment paper. (Note: this will allow you to lift the cake from the pan after baking for very-easy slicing and clean-up)
3. Whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Set aside.
4. Using two knives, or lightly with your fingertips, cut butter into dry ingredients until the mixture resembles fine crumbs and there are no chunks of butter left. Set aside.
5. In a separate bowl, whisk egg, sour cream, milk and vanilla and add to flour mixture, stirring until combined.
6. Fold blueberries and lemon extract into the batter. Pour batter into the pan, smoothing to reach corners.
7. Make crumb topping: blend butter with flour until crumbly. Add sugar. Spoon over the batter mix.
8. Bake until the cake is golden; 40 minutes. Cool cake for 20 minutes before serving.
This is very true, but it’s important to remember that if a woman is feminine, graceful, shaves, diets, wears make up, or does any of these things in the list, it doesn’t make her a slave to patriarchy or any less of a feminist than you.
“Rape jokes are not jokes. Woman-hating jokes are not jokes. These guys are telling you what they think. When you laugh along to get their approval, you give them yours.”—Thomas Millar, Meet the Predators (via frankengrrl)
Hello : ) Thought you might fancy a lovely DIY tutorial this afternoon.
How about a cute little personalized initials stamp, that you could apply to all your wedding stationery? Or what about stamping some doilies to make for pretty kitsch style table decor, or some pretty handkerchiefs to give away as favors? In fact you could stamp a huge variety of items to add a sweet personal touch to your wedding day - there are some hints and tips on how you can use your personalized stamp towards the end of this feature.
Let’s get started…
What you’ll need…
♥ A small carving block at least 1/2” inch thick ♥ Carving tools (such as Speedball linoleum cutters) in sizes 1 and 2 ♥ Pencil and paper ♥ Scissors ♥ Xacto knife ♥ Stamp ink pad
Step 1. Sketch out the design you’d like to use with your pencil. I chose a simple heart design with a nice thick line that’s easy to carve around…
Step 2. Next, cut out a square of the carving block large enough to fit the design with your Xacto knife. Turn the design over on top of the square, making sure it’s centered, and carefully color over the back of the paper with the pencil to transfer the design to your carving square. Press firmly with the pencil while coloring and be sure not to wiggle the design at all while coloring the entire image. If you need to start over, just turn the block over and try again. You will see a mirror image of the design on the block when finished.
Step 3. Now comes the fun part! Use the carving tool to cut away the block around your design. Use the smaller size tip and/or the Xacto knife to get into nooks and crannies. Go slow and careful - the tips will cut through the block like butter! Be sure to cut deep enough that when you ink your stamp, only your design will show.
Step 4. Once you’ve finished, ink up and test your design on a piece of scrap paper by pressing straight down. Be sure to press firm, without rocking the stamp too much…
Step 5. Lift straight up and voila! An adorable signature stamp!
Ideas and Tips…
♥ If you find little corners of excess ink showing up on your stamped paper, cut away some more of the block in that area.
♥ Stamp a huge variety of items like programs, matchbook covers, favors, paper goods, coasters, napkins, for a personalized touch.
♥ Stamp fabric, ribbons, and hankies using fabric ink.
♥ Use a thinner carving block and glue your stamp to a wood or acrylic backing using heavy duty adhesive for ease in stamping.
♥ To be extra fancy, create a signature design or print out a graphic, trace/color in with pencil, and transfer to your stamp.