How to get beautiful and smooth feet?

Most people will have experienced dry and rough skin on the soles of their feet. Sometimes this can be down to shoes, jobs that involve working a lot and also the weather. Feet are the most neglected part of the body because many people seem to forget them as they think they are hidden most of the time with socks and shoes, so why bother? By taking steps to look after our feet, we can have salon results for perfect feet at home. Here are some simple tips to achieve that:

Foot spa – regular use of a foot spa at home will help soften hard skin making it easier to rub off with pumice. Dry flaky skin will also soften and leave behind soft, silky and smooth skin. If you don’t have a foot spa, use a large bucket to soak feet in, add olive oil and bath or sea salts to ease tension. Put some of your favourite bubble bath for sweet smelling feet.

Moisturising socks – use your favourite moisturiser for feet and wear cotton socks to lock in moisture. If you don’t have any moisturising socks, use normal socks instead. You can even wrap in cling film for the same results.

Foot massages – for the ultimate treat why not ask your partner to massage your feet with a good quality moisturiser; your feet will not only be smooth but you will also experience a reduction in stress and tension.

Sand – when you go to the beach always walk bare foot; sand is a natural dermabrasion removing dead skin and cells. Feet will feel renewed and toenails whiter too.

Let feet breathe – try to leave feet free from socks at home allowing feet to breathe; wear a variety of different shoes to prevent odours and bacteria and never wear shoes or trainers without socks.

Moisturise feet before going to bed – apply cream when you are sitting on the bed and do not get up. With your feet under covers, you will keep them moist and in no time say goodbye to dry flaky skin.

Make your feet part of your daily beauty routine; scrub every night in the shower and moisturise before going to bed. Try and soak feet at least once a week to remove hard, dry and flaky skin. These simple steps will ensure you have happy, healthy feet that are always in top condition. Once you have achieved a workable routine you can start by pampering toes with a home pedicure and bright nail varnish for the warm summer months.

Homemade beauty products and treatments

As most people are trying to get healthier and more organically friendly, we look at the potential to use homemade beauty products instead of buying monthly supplies. The main reason people are choosing to switch to homemade is because of the side effects of using store bought products. In some cases, the products used can irritate the skin causing rashes, spots and even acne. By making your own natural products by using many basic ingredients found in the kitchen cupboard or garden, we can start living healthy lives saving a few pounds along the way.

Easy homemade beauty products and treatments

Hair care – mixing one egg yolk, a cup of water and some baby oil is a homemade conditioner that will leave hair silky smooth and soft to touch.

Dandruff – there are a few recipes for this. The first is ½ a cup of water and ½ a cup of white vinegar applied twice weekly to hair. My personal favourite is egg yolk and lemon juice left on for at least 1-2 hours then rinse. If used regularly dandruff will seem like a distant memory.

Waxing – using sugar or honey, lemon and water. Heat over stove until you get a smooth mixture and put in a jar. Like waxing kits, use an ice lolly stick blunt knife or wooden spoon and spread mixture on hair, apply cotton strips and pull. Homemade wax contains no chemicals therefore not so harsh on skin.

Face masks – there are too many too name and with everyone’s skin type being different or sensitive, it’s best doing some research to find the one that’s best for your skin. Most homemade face masks are made from fruit, porridge, milk and so much more.

Removing eye puffiness – it is said by placing a cooled teabag under the eye, you can remove or reduce the effect of puffiness and as some people suffer badly why not give it a go?

Make up remover – most people don’t know that own brand baby oil that is as cheap as 80p is good for removing make up – it’ll also leave skin feeling soft and supple as you lay your head down to sleep at night.

Hand and foot care – don’t buy unnecessary conditioning socks and gloves for hands and feet; instead use your favourite moisturiser and wrap hands and feet in cling film and wear normal socks and gloves. The skin will feel soft and smooth and if left overnight the results are even better.

Foot soak – instead of buying a foot soak that contains salt, just add sea salt, some olive oil and rosemary for fragrance to a foot spa for silky soft feet that also smell nice

There are so many homemade products and treatments that require little or no extra money spent. Once you try your own homemade products you’ll not want to go back.

Spa day at home – Pamper yourself at a fraction of the cost!

With spa days becoming increasingly popular and offers from the gym, newspaper and other sources always coming through, it’s easy to see how we cannot refrain from pampering ourselves. The cost of a single spa without over night stay is in the region of £150 so if you go every few months, you could be spending a whopping £600 just for going to the spa. The best way to get the same results as visiting the spa without actually having to spend money each time is to invest a little and have a spa day at home.

Save money by having a home spa day!

If you are eager and sure to make the most out of home spa products, then you will have had your money’s worth out of them in no time.

Foot spa – for relaxing, soothing aching tired muscles and also removing hard skin to reveal smoother skin

Facial sauna – to open pores and clean them thoroughly and removing blackheads – even if you have radiant skin, facial saunas are good at removing impurities that naturally occur in the skin through sweating

Face masks – every women owns at least one but the average women has 4-5 different face masks to target different problems

Manicure and pedicure – there’s no need to spend £50+ for a manicure and pedicure when you are more than capable of doing it yourself at the fraction of the cost

Massage – if there are more than one of you, have a home spa day then take it in turns to give each other a massage saving at least £50

If all of the above seem expensive, an alternative is buy them in a bundle costing as little as £35. The quality is not as good and if you want to host a spa day, it may not be able to handle a high volume of use, so only purchase for your own use. Here are some tips:

  • An alternative to buying a foot spa is having a large bowl or bucket to soak feet in, then use a hard skin remover and foot cream to leave skin silky smooth
  • If you don’t want to buy a facial sauna, then pour hot water into a bowl and using a towel, lean over the bowl with the towel on the head. This is to prevent steam from escaping and you can open your pores without the need for the special equipment
  • If you don’t have any face masks and would rather not spend so much on a product you probably don’t have time to use again, then make one at home using natural products
  • Buying supermarket nail polish, a little cello tape, you can have your very own French nails without spending so much

Hosting a spa day at home

Invite family and friends over and have a girly night in; you can even ask friends to bring over any products they have so you can all share. Host a spa day for a hen night, birthday, anniversary or any other special occasion and you will be remembered forever. Not only will you save a lot of money but you will also enjoy the company of your close ones and have the chance to pamper yourselves at the same time.

Facial Threading

facial threadingWith so many ways to remove facial hair, trying to choose a method that works for you is hard. After trying all of them (waxing, tweezing, epilating and face creams), it has been said that they are all too harsh for facial skin and can even cause wrinkles and other skin problems. There is an ancient method that has been in practice for over a thousand years and still going strong. Turkey, India and China still do facial threading for removing facial hair.

How to do facial threading and how does it work?

All you need is some cotton thread and that’s it! Just cut some thread and tie the ends together; you can then put both hands inside and then twist. Once the thread has gathered, you can then start catching hair in the twist to pull them out quicker and painlessly. Everyone’s pain threshold is different so what might hurt for you may not be the same for me. Threading is excellent at defining eyebrow and keeping them looking natural. The same goes for the upper lip, side burns and cheeks. As you can be really precise with threading facial hair, you can remove a single hair or a few at a time. What’s also great about threading is it pulls hair right from the root making the rate it takes to grow back slower and hair will grow back finer too.

The other good thing about facial threading is it is very cheap and you can do it yourself as well. After a few practice runs, you will find family and friends queuing up for you to do theirs. Unlike waxing, threading is gentle on the skin; not pulling off the first layer that waxing can do. Depilatory creams are also harsh due to the chemicals and stripping the skin of its natural moisture and oils.

How much does facial threading cost?

In the last 5 years, the cost of threading by a beauty therapist has risen; expect to pay around £12 for eyebrows and £5 for the upper lip. You can sometimes get the service discounted if you get a few things done together such as eyebrows, lips, sideburns and side of face and cheeks. Facial threading used to be available only in Asian and Turkish salons but more and more mobile salons are popping up in all local shopping centres. Keep an eye out for any promotions so you can have a try before deciding if this is the right facial hair removal method for you.

How to look like you’ve just been to the salon?

Did you know that there are ways of cheating to create the illusion of just being in a beauty salon? Just by doing some of the simplest things that most women take for granted or just avoid doing because of the inconvenience, you could look like a salon goddess in no time.

By doing these simple practices, you will get the "just stepped out of the beauty salon" look:

Facial hair tidy up – we all spend a lot of money on waxing, tweezing and laser hair removal but if you want to epilate without breaking the bank why not do it yourself. Just make sure you have a good magnifying mirror and are in good natural light. Just by tidying eyebrows, sideburns and the dreaded moustache, you could look like you’ve just had a facial.

Face mask – many people don’t have time to have a good face mask every week let alone every few days but by just having one a week you could really brighten your skin and have the glow without the need for caking on the foundation. There is good quality, inexpensive face masks that only require being on for 5 minutes before rinsing off. You should easily be able to fit this in once a week and the results will be well worth it.

Moisturising – we all know moisturising is a must especially in the cold harsh winters where skin is prone to dryness and cracking, but still most of us are just too tired to do it in the evening before going to bed. Moisturising in the evening will make sure that skin is silky smooth in the morning and fully hydrated so you don’t look so washed up. When moisturising the face, make sure you also moisturise the neck as it is the first sign of aging and can be avoided.

Exfoliation – exfoliating the body and face will aid circulation as well as removing dead skin cells to renew skin clarity. Aim to do this three times a week if possible when the skin is wet; most people do this when they shower as the dead skin will then just be washed away. Exfoliating will also lift ingrown hairs out and leave skin silky smooth.

Facial steamer – doing a facial steam at home is more convenient than going to the salon and less embarrassing as you don’t have to leave with no makeup on. It’s not advisable to put in makeup just after a facial steam as it will clog up the pores it just opened. A good facial steamer can be bought for as little as £10. If you want to avoid buying one because you’re not sure you will have time to use it, just fill up a bowl with hot water and put a towel over the back of your head while you lean over the bowl.

All the tips above would save you a lot of money long term and still get the same results as going to the salon if not better.

Teeth whitening kits for use at home

With nearly all of the UK over indulging in food and drink over the festive period, many people are noticing that all the wine and coffee have started to leave pearly whites stained and yellow. Nearly everyone all over the world are finding this month financially difficult due to over spending on Christmas gifts. Why not take this opportunity and try a DIY teeth whitening kit if you’re looking for a brighter smile?

Before deciding on what brand kit to buy, do some research and ask family and friends – you can get teeth whitening kits from your local supermarket and even beauty shop but sometimes it is worth spending a few extra £’s for better results. Never buy kits from the back of a magazine or internet advertising as these are strategically placed to tempt you.

Types of teeth whitening kits

Kits come with everything you will need to whiten teeth at home; this usually includes a gel, a teeth guard and a mouthwash. Although instructions come with the kits, it’s not advisable to brush your teeth immediately before treatment as this can have harmful side effects when in contact with hydrogen peroxide.

Teeth whitening kits vary in price and so do the results. If you have a little extra money to spend, why not get a custom made dental kit? An imprint of your upper and lower teeth will be sent to a lab to create a custom made tray for whitening your teeth. This will give better coverage to all teeth rather than a universal teeth guard. Some whitening kits even come with a moulded mouth guard that will fully mould to your teeth when hot water is applied to it.

It’s always better to use a good quality low strength teeth whitener as many people will suffer from sensitivity after the next few days to a weeks. Just because a cheaper kit has a higher strength formula doesn’t mean it’s better at getting teeth more white faster. Remember that cheap kits have many chemicals added to them and can also cause damage to teeth and gums.

Although the dental association doesn’t recommend home kits due to it being a complicated procedure, there are many web based companies using this to their advantage. Most people cannot justify the cost of having a £600 tooth whitening treatment, so they opt for a cheap diy teeth whitening kit instead. Be aware of the sites that promise a pearly white smile and do some research first to avoid disappointment.

The different body piercings that you can have

Body piercings have been around for centuries. Whilst it all started as a tradition for some countries and status for others, it has now become very trendy to have a body piercing. Most body piercings should be done using a needle and not a nail gun as most might think. Using a nail gun to pierce ears causes more trauma than doing it by hand with a needle. Remember, if you’re considering a piercing in your body, to research the piercer carefully and if at all possible, to go to a recommended place. If you do not look after your new piercing, the chances are higher for piercing rejection and infection.

The top ten body piercings

  • Ears – ear lobe piercings are very common but now we have the tragus which is the cartilage just at the opening of the ear.
  • Belly button piercing also known as a navel piercing – this is very popular among teenagers but there are also men who have their navels pierced too (just take a look at Sisqo, the RnB singer).
  • Nostril piercings are very popular as well especially with the growing Asian community where it all started. When deciding to have a nose piercing I would advise not to get it during winter or summer. During winter you might develop a cold and trying to blow your nose will be very painful. The same applies for summer you may suffer from hay fever. I’ve known a few friends who have made this mistake. Alyssa Milano, Pink and Kelly Clarkson have their nose pierced.
  • Oral piercings such as tongue piercings are also very popular due to the short time it takes to heal. Healing time for tongue piercings are said to be 10-14 days. At first there will be some swelling then after 5 days this should go down. This is my least favorite piercing as the piercing can damage teeth such as chipping and cracking them. Pink has her tongue pierced.
  • This brings us onto Labret piercings – they can be done in various sizes and Christina Aguilera has hers done.
  • Eyebrow piercings used to be increasingly popular 5 years ago. However I find that the popularity of eyebrows pierced are steadily declining. I have a friend who had one done at 15 and took it out at 18. Tommy Lee and Fergie form Black Eyed Peas have their eyebrow pierced.
  • Hand piercings are a new and unusual piercing that is becoming popular. You can get the back of the hands pierced or the skin in between the fingers pierced. The most preferred hand piercing is the skin between the thumb and index finger.
  • Men and women both enjoy the sensations that come from the nipple. This is probably why having a nipple piercing is enjoyable in the long run. The bad thing about nipple piercings is that if they get infected you can lose the nipple forever. Celebrities who have had their nipple pierced are: Janet Jackson, Britney Spears and Sisqo.
  • Male piercings are most popular than female piercings. This can be due to the fact that there are more male piercers than women.  Male piercings include penis piercings, frenum, scrotal piercings and foreskin. These are just a handful of what’s available. To find out more, speak to a professional piercer.
  • Female genital piercings are still not really talked about a lot but celebrities that are known to have them include Christina Aguilera and Janet Jackson. There are many different places and variations of genital piercings.

Although great care is taken when piercings are done, you can still develop piercing infections. The most common infected piercings are:

  • Navel piercings
  • Cartilage piercings (usually the ears)
  • Eyebrow piercings

To make piercings just a little bit unique, why not try a different variation of the style. Such as piercing off centre or at an angle. If you’re not brave enough, then just go for the ‘normal look’.

Not ready to have a piercing?

If you’re unsure about a body piercing, why not fake it? You can simply by self adhesive gem stickers and stick onto your nose, ear or labret. This might persuade your mum/dad that they don’t look so bad. Faking it is also sensible because you can be sure you won’t get an infection or scar. If gem stickers are not for you, then clip on body jewellery are widely available for navels, eyebrows, ears and lips.

Add some sparkle in your smile with tooth gems

What are tooth gems?

Tooth gems have been around for a long time. They look like diamantes or you can get them in gold or silver shapes and designs.

How are tooth gems applied?

There are two ways to apply them. The first is by applying some glue to the gem and the tooth and in a few minutes you’re done. The second way is permanent tooth gems – these are drilled into the tooth and are extremely hard to remove! Anyone can do this but I would be very careful because there are some horrible stories out there of people who now regret it. What people don’t realise is that if you get a permanent tooth gem, in time the gem will fade and you’ll be left with the backing of the gem permanently on your tooth. By removing it, you will still be left with a small hole in the tooth.

So are tooth gems safe?

Well they will cause long term damage in the future as the glue that is used is harmful to enamel. As the gem will stay in place anywhere from 1 month to a year, when it does eventually fall off, you might find some discoloration on the tooth as well.

How to get longer and more beautiful eyelashes?

Only a handful of women are blessed with natural long eyelashes. For those of us who are not fortunate enough to have long lashes, we have options for us including fake eyelashes.

How to get longer eyelashes?

Mascara is the easiest and cheapest option to create semi permanent eyelashes. There are many good brands of mascara that can create the illusion of long fake eyelashes. Don’t be mislead by television adverts – if you read the small print on screen you will find that most of the models who advertise mascaras are also wearing lash inserts to try and sell the product.

Permanent fake eyelashes

If you don’t want the hassle of applying mascara every morning and thoroughly washing it off every evening, then fake eyelashes are for you. They can be really cheap or very expensive; if you go to a beauty salon you can pay between £12 and £20 or if go to your local chemist or beauty shop, you can purchase them from £3. Fake eyelashes are easy to apply and come with glue and instructions but if you would prefer to get them put on at a beauty salon, then you can be sure to have a better finish.

Individual fake eyelashes

As well as a strip of fake eyelashes you can also get individual fake eyelashes, they are applied in the same way with glue but the advantage to this is that you can get top ups weekly so they always look real. Individual fake eyelashes cost more money and maintenance too is expensive – you can pay £120 for a full set and then weekly top ups that can cost an additional £60 a month.

Eyelash conditioners

A long time ago eyelash conditioning was very popular, now it’s barely even mentioned. Eyelash conditioners in my opinion are well worth it – they are cheap and really do work. Eyelash conditioners work by making eyelashes thick, healthy and long. They look like mascaras but are usually white or clear. If they are white, the colour will be absorbed by the lashes and a coloured mascara can be applied over the eyelash conditioner.

In my opinion fake eyelashes are horrible! You wake up with clumps of it on your cheek and who knows how the glue is damaging hair follicles. Mascara is probably the safest way to go if you need fake eyelashes – it’s temporary and you can wash it off at the end of the day.

Lip plumping lip gloss for fuller lips

With so many products on the market promising to pump up lips without the need for surgery, I take a look at the three most popular solutions on the market to suit all budgets.

How does lip plumping work?

Lip plumping lip gloss and lipsticks have a small amount of collagen in them. When applied, it has a tingling feeling on the lips as they increase blood flow to the lips making them plumper. The effect is only temporary and will fade away – the collagen is harmless in small doses and similar to what they use to inject the lips with filler.

Tested products

Avon – plump pout lip gloss (available in 4 shades) cost £6. I found the brush for this lip gloss very small so I had to keep dipping the tip into the bottle. It didn’t plump up very quick and was very sticky.

Rimmel – Volume Booster lip gloss (available in 9 shades) cost £6.99. This lip gloss was really easy to apply and the tingling sensation started as soon as the gloss was applied. The results were good and lasted hours. This product is said to boost lip volume by 40% and it’s not sticky.

Dior – Lip polish (available in 3 shades) cost £19.99. Using the new innovative way to apply lip gloss by roller is fantastic, it releases just the right amount of lip gloss so there’s no waste but it comes at the cost of £19.99. There wasn’t anything special besides the roller applicator.