I've been slightly M.I.A on here for the past week or two and for that I can only apologise. Blame it on mountains of uni work, a couple of weekends away and a severe lack of inspiration/writer's block. Don't get me wrong, I love blogging and continue to see it as a way to chill out, unwind and do something that I truly enjoy - so as soon as that feeling begins to wear off I'm always sure to take some time away from it to recharge my batteries and regain a fresh outlook on it all.
My school days were filled with D.I.Y pamper sessions. I'd frequently conjure up a whole host of beautifying concoctions from ingredients found in the kitchen cupboard (sorry, Mum), but as I've grown older that trend has somehow fallen by the wayside. Whether it's due to lack of time, an increase in pocket money, or the simple fact that my own kitchen cupboards aren't anywhere near as well stocked as my mum's, mixing up my own masks, scrubs and treatments seems to have become a less than common occurrence recently. In a desperate bid to take a closer look at exactly what I'm slapping on my skin - and a way of saving pennies in the meantime - I've decided to test out and share some of my favourite 'recipes' from back in the day. There are thousands of D.I.Y beauty hacks on the internet these days too, if for some reason my memorised musings from the pages of MIZZ magazine don't float your boat (also, I promise not to mention the D.I.Y sugar wax incident of 2009... h.o.l.y c.o.w)
My all time favourite, there was a time when I could reel off a pretty impressive list of D.I.Y mask recipes from the top of my head. Admittedly, I've since fallen into the trap of spending far too much money on the things, but I still whack out a home made remedy every now and again for good measure.There are recipes out there to suit pretty much every skin type and complaint going, but my most used of the bunch was a coffee mask designed to bring life and radiance to dull skin. The mask itself is incredibly easy to make, simply mixing an egg white (sounds gross, but it tightens and firms like no other), a couple of teaspoons of ground coffee (to wake up the complexion and gently exfoliate the skin) and a drop or two of lemon juice (to brighten and reduce excess oil). Wait for the mask to dry and splash off... done. I've used my fair share of radiance boosting masks in my time but this remains one of the most effective, plus it's always nice to know exactly what you're putting on your skin - even if egg white wouldn't be everyone's first choice.
Admittedly I've never bought any kind of branded lip scrub, but in all honesty I can't imagine that many of them are much different to the ones I've been making at home. I must have been in my (very) early teens when I read that a simple mixture of granulated sugar and water makes a brilliant exfoliator and it remains to be the base of the scrubs I make now. Occasionally I'll use olive oil as opposed to water as I find it makes it a little more nourishing; and sometimes I'll also add some honey or lemon to make things taste a little sweeter. You can also add other flavours or even food colouring if you wanted. Using a scrub like this once a week or so is enough to keep my lips in check, sloughing off any dead skin and smoothing everything over. A rich, hydrating balm such as Nuxe Reve de Miel or my trusty Blistex Intensive Relief Cream applied afterwards and I'm good to go.
A D.I.Y salt spray recipe was one of my first ever posts on thunderl0ve (you can find the original, cringe-inducing post here). I used to experiment a lot with home made hair products, from using lemon juice in a desperate bid for highlights to smothering my hair in mayonnaise overnight (even I shudder at the thought of that one now). These days I'm all about the coconut oil - it gives results, and it smells a heck of a lot better, too. I very rarely take the time to condition my hair properly and the thought of spending a lot of money on products doesn't appeal to me at all, so mixing some coconut oil with a tiny bit of olive oil and applying to the ends of my hair at least helps to repair some of the damage. Once every couple of weeks I mix up the concocion and spread it through the lengths of my hair using a wide tooth comb. I then leave it on for as long as possible before having to rinse it out and face the world again.