DIY De-Frumping

There was a time in my life when I dreamed of opening a spa. But there was also a time in my life when I dreamed I slept with Johnny Depp, so obviously neither one ever became an actual reality. Unless you are Johnny Depp and you happen to be reading this, in which case, drop me a line.*

*I'm totally kidding, Curtis.**

**(Unless Johnny Depp seriously dropped me a line)

Mmmmm, Johnny Depp ...

Wait, where was I? Oh yes. The spa. I used to fantasize about having a spa. That's because from the time I was very young, I was obsessed with beauty treatments. I've had more weird concoctions on my face than ... someone with a lot of weird concoctions on her face (you guys have read my post about the aspirin mask, right?) I used to mush up anything remotely mushable - bananas, avocados - and smear them into my hair as a deep-conditioner (avocado and mayonnaise works particularly well for dry hair, by the way). I have exfoliated with everything gritty, from salt to sugar to - well, grits.

This obsession with beauty is due in part to my nerdly love of research, and therefore, my relentless pursuit of beauty tips from books and the Internet. And the obsession with the "do-it-yourself" aspect is due to the fact that I have three kids who perpetually need shoes and clothes and food and stuff and I can't afford to fork over the big bucks for store-bought beauty treatments.

So because I'm forever trying to improve my (rapidly-declining-due-to-age-and-children) looks, and because I know a lot of you are in the same boat, I'm going to share a few tips.

-Olive oil and sugar makes a great exfoliating and moisturizing scrub for your hands. And if you've got enough (although olive oil can be kinda pricey), it works well for your entire body.

-If the skin on your knees and/or elbows is discolored or dull-looking, mix lemon juice with powdered milk until it's the consistency of a thick paste; leave it on for twenty minutes, then scrub it off with a loofah or rough washcloth.

-Make your own tinted lip gloss by mixing a little bit of powdered blush with either petroleum jelly (like Vaseline) or shortening (like Crisco). You can mix those things with lipstick, too, to cut down the intensity of the color.

- Conditioner makes shaving easier. Let it sit for about a minute on the skin first to soften the hair. For an even smoother shave, exfoliate first.

- Spike your shampoo with vodka to add shine. (Seriously!) Or you can add it to a deep-conditioning treatment (perhaps the avocado-and-mayo I mentioned above?).

- Speaking of hair, if yours suffers from product buildup, mix one part apple cider vinegar with one part water and pour it over your head after washing. It's a great clarifying treatment.

- Add milk and honey to a warm bath to soften your skin. The lactic acid in milk makes it an effective exfoliant, and honey is a natural moisturizer.

- Preparation H - yes, the hemmorhoid cream! - can be used to diminish under-eye puffiness.

- To prevent wrinkles, use peanut butter to adhere slices of raw fish to your face.*

*Just threw that one in to see if you were paying attention.

Now somebody grab the vodka, the lemons, and the sugar. Time to make lemon drop cocktails ourselves pretty!


  1. Gives whole new meaning to "Pour some sugar on me" doesn't it?

  2. Love it! Thanks for the tips!!

  3. Great list!
    I have a great pimple-reducing, moisturizing mask recipe of: 1/2 mashed avocado, 1 egg yolk (or white if your skin is oily) and 1 T honey. Blend together, spread on your face and Voila! You will frighten not only your children, but possibly your pets too.
    Also, for the hair build-up, You can wash with 1-2 T baking soda mixed in warm water and rinse with the apple cider vinegar of which you speak.
    Off to do important stuff (check facebook)

  4. I always carry 'roid cream for my eyeballs. Works like a charm after a late night. Make sure you get the ointment and not the cream stuff. I found the cream burned.

  5. I'm totally impressed with all these concoctions and will know where to go when I'm feeling experimental!!

  6. I really need to move (at my age) on from Dial soap and try some of this!

  7. lol i have a feeling if i rubbed all that stuff on me the hubs might get the wrong idea! but i'm totally trying the olive oil and sugar, genius!!

  8. Great tips.

    I mainly just stick with soap and whatever shampoo/conditioner is on sale.

  9. Conditioner on the legs is a great idea! I use good old fashioned baking soda for exfoliation on my face before my cleanser.

  10. I'm going to try the vodka one. I'd never heard that before.

  11. I puked in my mouth a little at the pb & fish one. So happy you were joking about that! ;)

  12. How much honey and milk would you recommend for the bath?

    1. Ryan, that's a really good question! I guess it depends on how deep your bath is. You want it concentrated enough to do its job. I'd say a half-gallon of milk or so for a standard-sized bath, a whole gallon for a deep one. As far as honey, I just squeeze it heavy-handedly into the bath. I probably use 3/4 cup or so. :)


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