Archive | August, 2013

DIY Beauty

9 Aug

Women may make only a fraction of what men do even while working the same jobs, but that doesn’t stop us from spending several times more on personal care products. The products themselves cost more when they are branded for women, and we also buy more of them.

How can we expect to rise to the top professionally, when while men are prepping for meetings, building contacts, and planning business strategies, we are busy prepping our faces with cleansers/toners/primers, fixing our hair extensions, and worrying about uneven complexions?

The average woman spends over a year of her life in front of the mirror, which translates to over 3 hours a week. That is an enormous waste of time, indicative that we clearly need to get a life and a reality check. What would you do with those precious extra three hours? Would you put them towards your professional goals or your studies? A movie night with loved ones? A short weekly outing, or trip? Catching up on a book? As most of us feel strapped for time in our lives, I’m sure you can think of a million more creative ways to use those hours.

Women are taught from birth that what matters about us is how we look, so it is no surprise that we carry these attitudes with us throughout adolescence and into our professional lives. The diet and make-up industry wants us to maintain these concerns, and certainly, these concerns also ensure the patriarchy is kept in check.

We need to be careful as women to not buy into this idea, both literally and figuratively. We need to realize, not only intellectually but on a deeper level, that our most important asset is not our looks. The first way that we can go about this is to make sure that any body-related concerns we have are ultimately about our health, and not our looks. There is nothing wrong with exercising, eating a healthy diet, and looking after your skin, but we need to catch ourselves when these concerns become vanities eating up precious time better spent towards developing ourselves in more valuable ways.

From lead in lipsticks to parabens in cleansers, it seems like the best bet is to cut out or minimize your store-bought beauty routine as much as possible. Low-maintenance is always the best way to go.  For those who feel they need it, I’ve included some low-budget tips below, but remember, every second we spend fretting over our faces is a second lost living our lives.

Here are some healthy, environmentally friendly and cost-effective ways to maintain good skin:

Wash your face with milk
Milk is a natural cleanser. Simply dab on the milk with a piece of toilet paper, leave it on for five minutes, and rinse it off. Toners are unnecessary, but if you insist, rose water does the trick.

Cheap lotion
Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Lotion is cheap and non-comodogenic, so it won’t clog pores. You can buy a huge container for your face and body, although in summer you may want to switch your lotion for a sunscreen. Vicco tumeric skin cream is another great daily moisturiser that won’t break your budget or compromise your health.

Repair summertime skin issues
Sunburn? Buy a large aloe vera leaf at your local ethnic grocer. Cut it into pieces, and store it in your freezer. Take a slice out, and rub it over wherever you feel the burn. (Also great for skin irritations).

Worried you permanently damaged your skin after too much fun in the sun? Thirty minutes of tomato juice on the face exfoliates damaged skin and also tightens the look of pores.

Bug bites? Squeeze a few drops of lemon juice over the bite for instant relief and diminished swelling and redness.

Skip the gloss
Lip glosses and lipsticks are full of toxins and carcinogens. Keep your beauty routine simple, and moisturise with good old-fashioned 100% petroleum jelly by Vaseline. Vaseline is too thick to clog pores, so it’s good on your face before bed (in lieu of night cream), sloughed on before a winter jog, or over small cuts or acne marks.

Quick zit fixes
Spot treat ’em with toothpaste. Or Zinc oxide cream.

Do you feel like kitchen beauty just doesn’t cut it for you? It doesn’t matter. You’ve saved valuable time and money — time and money better used in more fulfilling parts of your life. Time and money other ladies will never get back.