Practise good hygiene with your cosmetic tools

Unhygienic face sponges, powder puffs and cosmetic brushes are breeding grounds for bacteria. After washing your face, rinse your face sponge or towel thoroughly and place it in a well-ventilated area to dry. Face sponges and towels should be sunned every now and then to prevent them from being wet. Powder puffs and cosmetic brushes must be washed regularly. There are cleaning liquids specifically for this purpose that you can buy from places selling skincare and cosmetic products. Ideally, you can use your bath foam or shampoo as cleaning agents. They are pretty effective too!

Powder puffs blacken easily so you ought to wash them at least once a week. Brushes can be washed once in two months, but each time after usage, they must be wiped with tissue. After that, shake them hard to dislodge residue.

Don’t be negligent with the way you handle your products! Dirt gets inside them, if you don't handle them properly. Tube containers and any other form of packaging with a dispenser of some sort are easier to handle. All you have to do is ensure that you replace the cap properly after use. If you’re keeping them in your moist bathroom, make sure the cap is tightly sealed, and try to finish the contents as quickly as possible.
For wide-mouth containers, do not ever use your fingers to scoop up the product. Each time your fingers touch the product, bacteria gets inside it. Use a clean spatula or cotton bud instead. After scooping up the product, replace the cap immediately to prevent dust from getting in.

Using a lip brush to apply your lip balm and lipstick is most ideal (if you keep your lip brush clean!). If you apply your lipstick or lip balm directly to your lips, that’s fine too, but do remember to use tissue to wipe its surface of contact with your lips after usage. You wouldn’t want your saliva to remain on your lipstick till the next day.

More is Better with Facial Masks

The subject at hand is only applicable to users of facial masks in clay or paste form. Many people perceive that such masks are economical because they only require a little of it each time to cover the entire face. That's how they make their tubes of mask last much longer than packs of 5-in-1 peel-off masks.

In reality, a skimpy, translucent layer of mask is insufficient to create a closed environment for your skin to rejuvenate. To ensure that your skin gets enough nourishment, you must be generous with your application, especially around the T-zone. Nobody ever said that beauty comes cheap :(

So what's the ideal amount that one should use? There isn't a standard to adhere to, as different products have different concentrations of ingredients. Generally, you should use about 3 - 4 blobs of the product, each the size of a broad bean. After application, the mask should constitute a thick and prominent layer.

You'll end up finishing your product a lot faster than you usually did, but take heart. At least you are finally putting your product, and consequently your money, into good use!

Cucumber Porridge

Recently, the flu virus has been rampant! I've just recovered from it and now my mum's on flu medication while my dad is showing signs of having succumbed to the virus! Porridge has been the only thing we've been eating at home so far, so I've been on a porridge diet. I did some research to find out what other porridges I could make other than the typical fish, pork and chicken porridge, and now I bring to you... the cucumber porridge! It's healthy, promotes healthy skin, and most importantly, tasty! I wouldn't mind having more of it even after my pesky phlegm has cleared out!

For 1 serving of porridge, you will need:
Rice, ¼ of a normal-sized cucumber, a pinch of salt, a few slices of ginger (skin removed), 1 egg (optional)

1. Wash and skin the cucumber. Remove the seeds and slice cucumber into very thin strips.

2. Mince the ginger (you can do this by smashing it with your knife).

3. Put the rice to cook. Crack an egg into it. Add the minced ginger. When the porridge is boiling and soft enough for your liking, add the cucumber strips, followed by salt. Turn off the stove and it’s ready to be served!

Note: Cucumber strips should not be added in before the porridge is cooked. If cooked too long, vitamins from vegetables will escape. Furthermore, cucumber is crunchy and refreshing when eaten raw.

For best results, have a warm bowl of cucumber porridge once or twice a day. It helps in moisturizing skin, bringing down cholesterol and thus helping with weight loss, and lightening freckles. Cucumbers are rich in Vitamins C, B1 and B2, glucose, protein, sylvite, Renieratene, phosphorous, iron and other important minerals. Regular consumption of cucumbers is highly encouraged to maintain healthy skin!

Banish those eye bags!

Good eye creams do help to lessen eye bags, but as a long term solution, they can get really expensive! Here are some food items that are known to help prevent the formation of eye bags and reduce their intensity. Try to accommodate them in your diet frequently and you’ll find your eye bag issue improving in the long run without breaking your bank!

Eggs are rich in proteins. Protein stimulates cell growth and helps to reduce dead cell accumulation around your under eyes. However, bear in mind that the max number of eggs one should consumer per day is 2. The healthiest method to cook your egg is to boil it. Lean meat and seafood are also rich in proteins and can be consumed to increase your amount of protein intake. However, because the amino makeup of protein in eggs is more similar to that of the human body, we absorb protein from eggs more readily.

Sesame is rich in vitamin E, which is nourishing for your eyes and the skin around your eyes. Apart from this, it also promotes healthy hair growth! Other food rich in vitamin E include peanuts, almonds and sunflower seeds.

Like sesame, carrots are rich in vitamin E. It has one more added bonus – richness in Vitamin A. It stimulates skin repair and thus helps to reduce eyebags. Other food items rich in Vitamin A include animal liver, butter, almonds, alfafa etc.

Seaweed is rich in iron. Iron combines with protein to form hemoglobin which promotes oxygen transportation and absorption of nutrients.

Green tea
Green tea has detoxification effects. If you’re constantly in front of the computer, you should drink more green tea to get rid of eyebags caused by radiation from the computer. Green tea contains polyphenols, a powerful antioxidant. It helps to reduce skin damage caused by harmful free radicals. Green tea helps to promote sleep, thus indirectly reducing one of the main causal factors of eyebags.

Placing tea bags over eyebags also helps to reduce dark circles. After boiling tea bags, put them aside to cool, or refrigerate them for a short while if you want to use them quickly. Place over closed eyes for 20 minutes.