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