DIY: The Green Face Mask

Avocado Face Mask

It’s officially summer, although it’s already felt like it for over a month in Dubai. As we get ready to lay on the beach and soak in the sun, we shouldn’t forget how fragile our skin is and how much added moisture it will need this season. Avocados are packed with antioxidants, biotin, fatty acids and numerous vitamins all of which are nourishing and help with healing and revitalizing dry skin. This recipe combines avocados with some of my favorite ingredients for a natural face mask.

  • 1 full teaspoon avocado
  • 2 teaspoons yogurt
  • 3/4 teaspoon honey

Mash the avocado then add the yogurt and honey and whisk the ingredients together. I prefer to make the consistency fairly smooth so it spreads easily like butter. I recommend using a clean makeup brush or cotton pad instead of your hands because it’s more hygienic and less messy. Leave it on for 15 minutes and apply moisturizer after washing it off. Sweet and simple!

Happy summer to you darlings. Xx

Fresh Faced

There are countless products available that are meant to reveal your skin’s natural beauty, but when it comes down to which is best for your skin I believe it’s all relative. It’s extremely important to consult a dermatologist that is trustworthy and honest before using random brands, especially if you’re prone to acne. I have tried many products over the years and have found a skincare routine that’s kept my face clear and smooth for the most part, so I decided to share it with you today.Skin Care

  1. Face wash: By the end of the night, you need to clean off any dirt and oils that have built up throughout the day. I like to use a mild soap for daily wash (such as Lux) and the Neutrogena Facial Bar on problem areas. This facial bar is not only easy on the wallet, but it contains salycilic acid which fights acne.
  2. Moisturizer: Regardless if your skin is oily or dry you need to use a moisturizer on a daily basis. It rejuvenates the skin and keeps it looking plump. I like the Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel by Clinique because it’s absorbed quickly and is completely oil-free.
  3. Treatment: With a busy schedule and a weekend that never feels long enough you may not get a chance to give yourself a face mask, not to mention how expensive a good cleansing facial can be. It’s still important to treat yourself to one on a monthly basis, your skin will thank you for it. I shared an amazing Dewy Skin Mask that I do at least once a week and has done wonders for me.
  4. Nose Strips: I think this product is really underrated and should always be available in your beauty closet. Blackheads are extremely stubborn and unless removed by an esthetician can be hard to extract. Nose strips may not be as effective as a steamer and facial but will keep most of your pores clean. When necessary, I like to cut them up and use them on my chin and forehead as well.
  5. Toner: I’ve been using the Clinique Clarifying Lotion since I was 19 years old. It balances the oils in your skin, cleans off grime residue and leaves my face extra smooth. It also contains salycilic acid, which like I said earlier can help clear up your skin. They have 4 different toners from Clinique and you should check which one is right for your skin type.

May you always be fresh faced my lovelies! Xo

 

When to breakup with your makeup

Makeup2

I’m definitely guilty of holding on to some lipsticks and eye shadows a little too long, and some of my favorite makeup was a limited edition gem that is impossible to replace. Most cosmetics and lotions have a little symbol at the back that looks like an open pot which tells you the shelf life of the product. It’s important to keep track of when you opened the product and when it’s time to replenish your makeup. Old mascara can irritate your eyes or even cause a serious case of pink-eye. Foundation, concealers and water based powders may be home to all kinds of bacteria which can break out your skin. Even make-up brushes, which should be kept clean and dry, will eventually need to be replaced. I’ve listed the average shelf life of makeup products for you below.

  1. Mascara: 2-3 months
  2. Liquid Eyeliner: 3 months
  3. Eyeliner: 6 months
  4. Eye shadow: 12 months
  5. Concealer: 12 months
  6. Foundation: 12 months
  7. Powder: 2 years
  8. Cream Blush: 12 months
  9. Blush/Bronzer: 12 – 18 months
  10. Lipstick/Lip Gloss: 18 months

For more details on how to store your cosmetics and keep your brushes and sponges clean check out this great article in Allure. On the bright side, think of how fun it will be to replenish your makeup!

 

 

Nail Care

Nail Care

If you love nail polish as much as I do, then you probably don’t know what your nails look like unpolished and can’t remember the last time you left them au naturel. Lately I’ve been pretty good about giving my fingernails a break from polish and I’ve noticed they’ve become stronger and brighter. It was much harder to do this with my toenails because they’ve been constantly polished since I was 15 years old. Here’s a few tips to keeping your nails strong, white and healthy. A word of advice, do not research “yellow nails” if you don’t want to end up being paranoid about having different types of gross nail conditions.

  1. Let them breath: I’ll start with the most obvious tip, give your nails a week long break between manicures/pedicures. No matter how great the brand you’re using or the amount of nutrients they claim it contains, it’s still blocking the oxygen from your nails and that’s the main reason they turn yellow.
  2. Keep them extra clean: Be sure to scrub your toes and fingertips well, and even get underneath the nail. Dry them well afterwards and then use some cotton swabs and rubbing alcohol to disinfect them.
  3. Whiten and Brighten: Lemon is a wonderful natural whitening agent. To diminish discoloration, apply some freshly squeezed lemon juice to your nails and leave it on for 15 minutes then buff it with a dry wash cloth. You can also use hydrogen peroxide as an alternative to lemon juice.
  4. Buffer: Buffing gently with a soft buffer block will also remove the discolored top layer of the nail, but don’t do it too hard or too often or the nail will become weak and brittle.
  5. Moisturize: Creams and oils with almond extract are my favorite nail and cuticle moisturizers. Applying cuticle oil to your nails everyday will minimize dead skin and strengthen the nail plate.
  6. Controlling Cuticles: You might be tempted to get your cuticles cut and cleaned every time you get your nails done, but that can actually make them worse. Once a month is more than enough, and even then make sure to only remove the excess skin.

I hope these tips benefit you as much as they did for me! Xo

DIY: Maple Syrup Lip Scrub

Maple Syrup

If you’re anything like me, there is an array of lip balms scattered between purses, makeup bags and different drawers in your house. I’ve tried many brands and although I found a few favorites that really help reduce dryness, the flakiness doesn’t go away easily. Well after reading about this recipe, I became hooked on lip scrubs. I’ve experimented with a few variations of ingredients, and I thought I’d share my favorite one with you.

You will need:

  • 2 Teaspoons Brown sugar
  • A few drops Rose water
  • 1 Teaspoon Maple syrup

Mix the sugar with the rose water until they look crumbled. Add the maple syrup and mix them all together. Leave it in the fridge for 15 minutes. Scrub your lips in a gentle circular motion for a few minutes. Follow with your favorite lip balm.

I hope you love it!

 

 

Scrub and Polish ~ Part 2

Now that you are done with the exfoliating part, you will need to replenish with moisture. Keeping your skin hydrated allows it to heal any scars or cuts quickly and reduces bumps and ingrown hairs. There are two main things to look for in a cream/oil: A) Absorbs quickly into the skin and does not leave it sticky, and B) Keeps the moisture locked in for at least 24 hours. I have tried quite a few products and these worked the best for me.

Scrub and polish part 2

 

  1. Vineyard Peach Body Butter, $20. While body butters are usually pretty heavy, The Body Shop offers a wide selection of fast absorbing and deliciously scented options.
  2. Grape Seed Oil, $15. This Cuccio grape seed oil is supposed to be a hand anti-oxidant but I have used it all over and it is amazing. The smell is gentle and gives the skin a boost. It can also help with ingrown hairs.
  3. Lubriderm, $13. Yes, this is a drugstore product and yes I cannot live without it. This is the best lotion I have ever used, it even keeps my feet smooth!
  4. Argan Oil, $15. You can read about my love for Argan oil here.
  5. Fleur Chérie Body Lotion$30. This is my favorite lotion from L’occitane. They have great variety and it depends on preference, but I love this one because it has a soft and floral smell and is light as air.

*Prices May Vary

Scrub and Polish ~ Part 1

Exfoliating is so important, especially during the dry and cold months of the year. It helps scrape off the dead cells and diminishes ingrown hairs, revealing lustrous skin. These are my five top favorite products to use for scrubbing. I will follow this post with one about my top 5 moisturizers.

Scrub

  1. Exfoliating Bath Gloves, $5. I started with this because I love using these gloves with any soap and I use it with most of the products I will talk about today. They are wonderful for all skin types, and while they are rough enough for an effective scrubbing they are gentle enough not to irritate the skin.
  2. Strawberry Polish, $20. This body polish produces a rich lather and contains crushed walnut shells and kiwi seeds which allows for a gentle scrub.
  3. Olive Body Scrub, $20. I was introduced to this olive scrub six years ago and I have not stopped using it since. It may not smell as great as the strawberry polish, but because of the crushed olive stones it completely smoothes away bumps and leaves you with soft and even skin immediately.
  4. Sultana of Soap, $7. This is definitely my favorite soap from Lush, and I love using it with the bath gloves. Other than the entrancing smell, it is the most moisturizing soap I have ever used. The gloves exfoliate while the soap adds hydration to the skin, making the perfect combination.
  5. Scrub of Your Life, $18. The tiny beads and creamy texture of this buffer slosh off the dry and rough layer of skin but are still gentle. A little bit goes a long with this and the smell is divine.

*Prices May Vary

 

The Dewy Skin Mask

When I was young, my mom was very adamant about keeping me from using foundations and creams on my face and assured me I can achieve dewy skin naturally. She always preferred the natural look and encouraged me to use home remedies instead. I’ve been using yogurt-based face masks ever since I was 13 years old, and they always does wonders for my skin. This particular mask is by far the best I have ever tried and I always go back to it. It helps dry up acne, diminishes scars and leaves the skin with a soft glow and a dewy look. I highly recommend you give it a try and I promise you will love it!

What you’ll need:

  • 1 egg white
  • 2 teaspoons plain yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • a dash of cinnamon (optional)

Natural Mask

First, Put the yogurt in a bowl and mix it up until it’s smooth. Then in a second bowl, separate about 2 tablespoons of an egg white. Drop the egg white into the yogurt and whisk them together.

Home Remedies

After you’ve combined the egg whites and yogurt,  start drizzling some honey over the mix.

DIY

Finally for an added kick of potency, add a pinch of cinnamon.

Dewy Skin Mask

Whisk them all together and apply on your face with a cotton swab or foundation brush. Leave it on for 15 – 20 minutes. You should feel it tighten on your face. I like to remove it with a sponge for some extra exfoliation. It is quite smelly, but so worth it!

Dewy Skin Mask

*Watch out not to get any yolk in the mix or that could cause your face to break out. Also, make sure you don’t have any allergies or sensitivity from cinnamon.

I hope you try this dewy skin mask and love it as much as I do. Let me know if you like the results, I’d love to hear from you!

xo Rania

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Photography by Natelee Cocks.