Try this skin-saving cocoa and coffee mask

Beauty aficionados have been raving about the beauty benefits of cocoa and coffee lately – and when I tell you why, it’ll all make perfect sense!

When you use cocoa and coffee in combination, they brighten up your complexion, wake up tired eyes, decrease puffiness in your face, and even treat breakouts!

No matter your skin type, the cocoa and coffee mask recipe I’m sharing with you is sure to work wonders for you. I just love this mask because it’s simple to mix up, and only requires a couple of kitchen cupboard ingredients.

Cocoa and coffee are the staples of this chocolaty mask, but feel free to tailor the recipe based on your skin type and the ingredients you’ve got in your kitchen. For dry skin, add full-fat yoghurt. For oily skin, add lemon juice. Try it out!

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Cocoa and coffee mask recipe

You’ll need:

  • 4 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder (your basic Nestle Cocoa works fine)
  • 4 tbsp finely ground coffee beans or espresso (instant coffee works too if you don’t have
  • your own grinder)
  • 8 tbsp dairy product (such as heavy cream, plain yoghurt, whole milk or nut milk)
  • 2 tbsp raw honey

How to make the mask:

  1. If you’re using whole coffee beans, finely grind them in your grinder. Make sure they’re super-finely ground so that they don’t scratch your skin! If you’ve just made coffee, you can use the freshly brewed coffee grounds. They just won’t contain as much caffeine (and your skin loves caffeine!)
  2. Combine the coffee with the cocoa powder in a small bowl.
  3. Add in your dairy product of choice and stir until you form a smooth paste. For a thicker paste, use less dairy.
  4. In a separate bowl, warm up the honey in a warm water bath or in the microwave, then stir it into the concoction.

How to apply the mask:

  1. Use your fingertips to apply the mask to your clean skin. You can use it all over your face and neck.
  2. Leave the mask on for 15 to 20 minutes or until dry.
  3. Wet a facecloth and press it onto your face gently to loosen the mask, then rinse the mask off with warm water.
  4. If you’ve got sensitive skin, avoid rubbing your face – the coffee grounds could potentially get scratchy!

You can store the leftover paste in your fridge for up to three days.

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Three amazing “green” ways to treat breakouts

If you suffer from acne or regular breakouts, you may think that running to the pharmacy or your doctor is the easiest and best thing to do every time your skin flares up … but it really isn’t!

In fact, it’s the all-natural, homemade remedies that best treat acne in the long-term. This is because antibiotics and analgesics only help reduce symptoms immediately. In the long term, they can actually cause severe problems and side effects.

On that note, I’m sharing three super-simple ways to treat your acne the “green” way. Your skin is sure to thank you!

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Three all-natural breakout treatments

#1: Yoghurt, honey and cinnamon mask

Honey and cinnamon both pack impressive antibiotic properties, while yoghurt soothes irritation and reduces redness.

You’ll need:

  • 1/2 cup unsweetened full fat yoghurt
  • 2 tbsp raw honey
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • Small bowl

What to do:

  1. In a small bowl, combine the ingredients to form a paste.
  2. Apply the mask to clean skin and leave it on for 10 minutes.
  3. Wash the mask off with warm water and pat dry.

#2: Face steaming

If you’re looking for an easy, non-invasive way to loosen oil and dirt that’s clogging your pores and causing your breakouts, look no further than face steaming. Steam is an excellent immediate cleanser, and practising it regularly can help improve your skin health in the long term.

You’ll need:

  • 1 pot boiling water
  • Handful of organic mint, basil or lavender
  • 1 fresh towel
  • Large bowl

What to do:

  1. Pour the boiling water into a heat-safe bowl and toss in the herbs.
  2. While you wash any make-up or residue off your face, let the water cool.
  3. Carefully hover your face about 15 cm above the surface of the water and drape the towel over your head so it catches the steam.
  4. Steam your face for 10 to 15 minutes. Be sure to breathe deeply to inhale the herbs you’ve added … they’re a great source of aromatherapy!
  5. When you’re done, pat your face dry.

#3: Honey and lemon toner

Both honey and lemons are antibiotic, so this is a powerful combination to help deep-clean your pores and treat any blemishes you may have to prevent future breakouts.

You’ll need:

  • 1/2 lemon
  • 2 tbsp raw honey
  • Small bowl

What to do:

  1. Squeeze the lemon juice into a small bowl. Add in the honey, then stir to combine.
  2. With clean hands, carefully apply the tone to your face, gently massaging it in as you go.
  3. Leave the toner on your skin for five minutes, then gently rinse it off with cool water.

Share your top natural breakout treatments and tips with me in the comments below!

Master the dewy glow with Beauty Fix

Make-up setting sprays have been getting lots of praise in the beauty community lately … have you noticed? I’ve been using a setting spray to set and freshen up my make-up for a good while now, but it wasn’t until last week that I discovered Beauty Fix Radiant Make-Up Finish – the hydrating and nourishing mist made with divine all-natural ingredients like rosewater, aloe vera extract and cucumber extract.

Beauty Fix is a lightweight make-up setting spray that’s suitable for all skin types due to its gentle, skin-loving ingredients. All you do is mist the product over your face after you’ve finished applying your make-up for a gorgeous, radiant glow. I don’t know about you, but I sometimes catch my skin looking too powdery, and it’s until I tried this specific setting spray that I no longer had the “cakey-ness” issue.

 

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Here’s the description of the product taken from Beauty Fix’s website: “Look and feel fresh with radiant make-up finish. This superfine mist blends make-up revitalises the skin. It provides a gentle breeze of clarity and calm, leaving the skin feeling soft and supple. Each spritz releases the luxurious scent of a bouquet of roses.”

When this spray hits your face, your skin feels wonderful … it’s especially refreshing when your skin is feeling dry and tired or hot and flustered. The amazing thing about it is it locks in all of the product that you have on your face and makes everything blend in well together.

Any colour on your face is instantly intensified – in a good way, of course – whether it be your highlighter, bronzer, blush, eye shadow or eyeliner. I fan my face for about 10 to 15 seconds to let the spray dry, and the result is dewy, flawless make-up! You all know how stunning a fresh and dewy complexion looks, right?

The product’s nozzle design makes the spray come out in an extremely fine mist … did I mention how fabulous it feels? Plus, the fresh flowery scent is just luxurious! It really does smell just like a bunch of fresh roses … and what girl doesn’t love roses? When spraying, I hold the bottle about 20cm away from my face and spray three times – once directly from the front, and twice from the sides of my face.

I prefer using the spray when I’m done doing all of my make-up, but you can also use it as a primer on clean skin before you start applying your make-up, or just after your foundation and powder application. What’s more, is this spray is also great for freshening up your skin during the day … the cute little bottle is conveniently handbag-sized for touch-ups!

Beauty Fix Radiant Make-Up Finish has definitely crossed over to my Holy Grail list. I’m actually pretty mad at myself for not trying it sooner! It’s really impressed me … the difference in my make-up is astonishing! It brings everything out and makes my skin look and feel super-healthy! To locate your nearest stockist of this must-have beauty buy, go here.

Top five BB creams for summer

A darling of the beauty world, beauty balm – or BB cream for short – brings tons of skin correcting benefits. In the summer, I use this product as an all-in-one replacement for my moisturiser, face sunscreen and foundation. It makes sense, doesn’t it? I mean, who wants to be caked up during the hot months of the year? Here are my five favourite BB creams for flawless, radiant skin that are perfect for wearing in the summertime!

 

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#1: Revlon Photoready BB Cream (SPF 30)

If you’re looking for just the slightest amount of coverage, this BB cream is your perfect fit. The formula actually feels more like a tinted moisturiser than a BB cream, so it evens out skin tone without making your skin feel weighed down or sticky. It’s also budget-friendly!

 

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#2: MAC Prep + Prime BB Beauty Balm Compact (SPF 30)

As you now know, I’m a massive BB cream fan … but some can be really messy to work with! This fabulous version by MAC comes in a super-sleek compact with an applicator sponge, so you don’t have to worry about getting product all over your fingers.

 

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#3: L’oreal Paris Magic Skin Beautifier BB

This BB cream packs incredible colour-matching technology! It actually pretty fascinating. The product goes on white, but then transforms to match your skin’s undertone and shade perfectly … how cool is that? If you struggle finding a BB cream to suit your skin tone, this product will save your life.

 

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#4: Bobbi Brown BB Cream (SPF 35)

Despite the high sun protection factor, this BB cream by well-loved brand Bobbi Brown provides totally light coverage! This range of BB cream is unfortunately only suitable for fair-skinned ladies, as it only has relatively fair shades available. It does, however, have a wider range of undertones than a lot of other brands.

 

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#5: Shiseido Perfect Hydrating BB Cream (SPF 35)

All BB creams blend easily to match your skin tone and lend your complexion a touch of radiance … but Shiseido’s is by far the best at it! Though it has a higher sun protection factor than most other BB creams on the market, it won’t feel heavy on your face. It’s also super-hydrating, making it the perfect choice for dry skin types.

 

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What’s your favourite BB cream?

Combat acne with this honey and cinnamon face mask

Raw honey – ah, how sweet it is! Use it to sweeten a cup of tea, to bake sweet treats, or to enhance the nutty flavour of a pecan pie – it’s pretty versatile. Honey is also a natural humectant, which means it’s a fantastic moisturiser, and it also has antibacterial properties that can help you spot-treat acne.

 

The honey and cinnamon face mask recipe I’m about to share with you is amazing. It will brighten your complexion, soothe any irritations, and clear up acne. Please just note that cinnamon can irritate very sensitive skin, so do a patch test before applying the mask to your entire face if your skin is sensitive.

 

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Honey and cinnamon acne face mask recipe

You’ll need:

  • 3 tsp raw honey
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon

What to do:

  1. Mix the honey and cinnamon together in a small bowl.
  2. Apply the mixture to your face and leave it on for 20 to 30 minutes.
  3. Rinse your face with warm water and finish off with your daily moisturiser.

Firm and tone your skin with this rose petal face pack

Rose petals are a brilliant source of vitamin C and antioxidants, which help firm and tone your skin as well as reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. They contain an essential oil that has impressive antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, and is brilliant for hydrating and moisturising delicate facial skin.

 

The home remedy I’m about to share with you is one that I swear by. I use this face pack whenever my skin is looking puffy or flustered. The alpha hydroxy acids in rose petals help get my complexion back in tip top condition in a snap by tightening pores and calming redness. It’s suitable for even the most sensitive skin.

 

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How to treat your skin with a rose petal face pack

You’ll need:

  • 8 tsp fresh rose petals (or 4 tsp dried rose petals)
  • 1 cup distilled water
  • 2 tbsp raw wilk
  • 2 tbsp rose water
  • 1 orange peel, dried and crushed
  • 2 tsp raw honey
  • 4 tbsp whole-wheat flour

What to do:

  1. Mix all of the ingredients together to form a paste.
  2. Apply the paste all over your face and neck.
  3. Leave it on for 20 to 30 minutes, then rinse with cool water.

Voila – refreshed, gorgeous skin!

Five natural beauty brands I’m obsessed with right now

I believe that when it comes to beauty products, sometimes less really is more. Just as interest in simpler, less-processed foods has grown, many women have also been searching for more natural, plant-based beauty products with shorter ingredient lists.

 

But do these natural formulas work just as well the conventional products you’ve been using? Yes, they do! Here are five fabulous plant-based beauty brands that I’m obsessed with right now.

 

Five natural skincare brands you need to know about

#1: S.W. Basics

Founded and manufactured in Brooklyn, New York City, this little brand is becoming a big deal very quickly. Their products are all organic, and include potent levels of the active ingredients. Turmeric, lavender and avocado oil are just a few of the wonderful ingredients you’ll find in this line, making their products perfect for sensitive skin like mine.

 

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#2: Tata Harper

The bright green packaging says it all! This brand’s products are whipped up in small batches right on the owner’s farm in Vermont, US. So, yes, you can be sure everything is super-fresh! I love their moisturisers and eye creams, which are very soothing and hydrating for delicate, sensitive skin.

 

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#3: RMS Beauty

This fabulous brand was founded by former make-up artist Rose-Marie Swift. It’s well-known for its popular Lip2Cheek products, which offer vibrant, long-last colours for lips and cheeks. It’s the concealers, however, that won my heart. They cover imperfections incredibly well, but look natural on your skin at the same time.

 

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#4: Herbivore Botanicals

True to its name, this brand is plant-based, and the products come in intoxicating scents. From face oil to body polish, the brand stocks a variety of original formulas packaged in stunning bottles you’ll want to leave on display. I especially love their Sea Mist to create beachy waves in my hair. The product contains coconut and sea salt – how divine?

 

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#5: Cocovit

With its many uses as a natural moisturiser for skin and hair, coconut oil is having a huge beauty moment right now. Cocovit’s oil in specific is produced without heat, meaning that the finished product is 100% pure and packed with super-beneficial nutrients that can be lost when heat is used. I love using coconut oil to remove my make-up, or to hydrate my scalp when it’s feeling dry.

 

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