Be a beauty alchemist

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Be a beauty alchemistWant to save some cash and have a little fun? Try making your own beauty products at home – they're great for homemade gifts too

Think about it – what you put on your skin should be good enough to put into your body. Beauty products like face masks and body scrubs made at home will be totally natural, not tested on animals and won't contain any harsh chemicals or preservatives. Here's how to create your own potions and lotions that are, literally, good enough to eat.
Moisturising make-up remover
One of the oldest methods of cleansing the face is with oil. This is especially beneficial for mature skins, which tend to be dry. Apply a layer of almond oil all over your face and gently rub in for a minute or two. Remove with cotton wool.
Radiance refreshing steamer
Pour boiling water into a basin. Add the juice of half a lemon and a splash of rosewater – you can even add some rose petals if you like. Hold your face over the steam (hang a towel over your head and the basin to trap the vapours) for a minute or two. Pat dry.
Facial scrubs and masks
Age-spot fading yogurt mask
Strawberries and yogurt contain small amounts of fruit and lactic acids, which hydrate and gently exfoliate Be a beauty alchemistthe skin. These mild acids also soften the appearance of pigmentation and may fade age spots over time. Evenly spread 1/4 cup strawberry yogurt (preferably organic) over clean skin, avoiding the eyes. Leave on for 20 to 30 minutes, then tissue off and
rinse well.
Hydrating almond, honey, milk and aloe mask
This hydrating mask is perfect for dry, mature skin. You'll need a living aloe vera plant though – just pick and crush the leaves to extract the gel. Combine 1 tsp of organic milk powder with 1 tsp of organic ground almonds. Add 1 tbsp of organic honey and 1 tsp of organic aloe vera gel. Finally, add two drops of neroli oil (a plant oil produced from the blossom of the bitter orange tree), and smooth over your face. Leave for 10 to 15 minutes and then rinse well.
Lemon lip peel
Mix together 1/2 tsp mayonnaise, 1/4 tsp baking soda and 1/4 tsp lemon juice until smooth. Gently scrub on lips with a soft toothbrush in a circular motion. The lemon will act as a mild peel for your lips and Be a beauty alchemistslough off dead skin naturally.
Firming coffee scrub
Because caffeine is a natural diuretic, coffee scrubs can help stimulate the movement of water through your body, making your skin temporarily appear firmer and making problems like cellulite less noticeable. Combine 6 tbsp of ground coffee with 1/4 cup of good extra-virgin olive oil. The mixture should look like coarse mud. Apply a dollop to your skin – body or face – and scrub.
Note: the coffee grounds should be very fine. Put them through a coffee grinder twice if necessary.
Turmeric blemish paste
Turmeric is antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and has powerful antioxidant properties. Mix 2 tsps of runny honey with 1/4 tsp of fine sea salt and 1 tsp of turmeric to form a fine paste. Apply to spots every Be a beauty alchemistevening and leave on for up to 30 minutes or even overnight.
Cucumber eye pack
Cucumber's gentle hydration is great to reduce swelling around the sensitive eye area. Mix 2 tsps of grated cucumber with 1 tsp of powdered milk to form a thick paste. Close your eyes and apply on the upper and lower lids. Leave on for 10 minutes then wipe off gently with moist cotton wool.
Almond lip softener
Almond oil is a great emollient rich in alpha linoleic acid, an omega-3 fatty acid found in plants. Apply to the lips and the surrounding skin to keep the area supple and hydrated.
Body scrubs and oils
The best way to silky soft skin is through all-natural, homemade, chemical-free oils and scrubs.
Exfoliating salt scrub
Reap the nourishing benefits of sea minerals by blending together in a pestle and mortar or a food processor 2 tbsps of sea salt, 3 tsps of grated ginger, the finely grated peel of one lime, six slices of chopped cucumber
Be a beauty alchemistand 15ml of almond oil.
Refreshing green tea scrub
This scrub is gentle enough for use on delicate areas of the body. Mix together 2 tbsps of green tea leaves, 1 tbsp of uncooked brown rice (with the husks left on), 1 tsp of honey and 15ml sweet almond oil.
Soothing neroli body scrub
Neroli has anti-depressant, antiseptic, deodorant and sedative properties. For this delicious-smelling scrub, pour into a large jar 450g brown sugar, 150ml grapeseed oil, 100ml sweet almond oil and 25 drops neroli essential oil. Put the lid on the jar and shake well.
Silky skin body oil
Decant the following ingredients into a glass bottle:
· 50ml jojoba oil
· 45ml almond oil
· 5ml wheatgerm oil
· 18 drops ylang-ylang essential oil
· 10 drops sweet orange oil
· 6 drops lavender essential oil
Apply sparingly after a bath or a shower. This oil will stay fresh for six months in an airtight container at room temperature.
Circulation boosting body oil
Decant the following ingredients into a glass bottle:
· 50ml almond oil
· 10 drops geranium essential oil
· 4 drops lavender essential oil
· 4 drops sandalwood essential oil
· 2 drops lemongrass essential oil
This oil will stay fresh for six months in an airtight container at room temperature.
Hair mask
Repair the damage
Add 2 tbsp of extra-virgin olive oil, 1 egg yolk and 1 tsp of organic honey to a small microwave-safe bowl. Mix well and microwave for about 10 seconds. Spread the mixture evenly over dry, unwashed hair and comb through. Even though the honey is a little sticky, it works wonders on dry locks. Once the treatment is evenly dispersed, wrap your hair in a warm towel or cover with a shower cap. Leave treatment on for 30 minutes, then rinse off and shampoo and condition as normal.

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