Put your best face forward!

Contrary to popular belief, looking good doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. This week, our columnist offers easy, breezy beauty fixes – most of which can be found in your house! 

Have you ever met people who look like they woke up looking effortlessly beautiful and flawless?

Well, more often than not, they’ve slaved away for hours in front of the mirror, slathering beauty products all over their faces to achieve such perfection.

While everyone yearns to look their best, very few people in this world can afford eye creams with flecks of gold in them, or platinum-infused skin creams.

If you’re in a pinch, these do-it-yourself beauty fixes will help you put your best face forward in no time… plus, they won’t break the bank!

Here is a list of things you can easily find in your house, and what they can do for you:

  1. Toothpaste
    When you’re tempted to squeeze or pop a pimple, head over to your bathroom and dab some toothpaste on it. Make sure that you’re using regular toothpaste with fluoride.  This is because gel toothpaste is not as effective, and whitening toothpaste has hydrogen peroxide, which will irritate the skin. Toothpaste will help shrink the inflammation and swelling by drying out the pimple.

    Those pesky zits can be annoying, and pimple creams cost a bomb. So what do you do when you're faced with a pimple-y situation? Toothpaste, ice and lemons may sound like unlikely remedies, but they sure are effective!

    Those pesky zits can be annoying, and pimple creams cost a bomb. So what do you do when you’re faced with a pimple-y situation? Toothpaste, ice and lemons may sound like unlikely remedies, but they sure are effective!

  2. Ice
    If you look as red as a tomato post-exercise, wrap some ice in a clean cloth and rub it all over your face to reduce the redness. Using ice is also effective in reducing the swelling of a pimple, especially if you’re out and about.
  3. Lemons, Pineapples, or Limes
    When life gives you lemons, use them on your skin!  Feel that familiar bump on your face that is a tell-tale sign of a brewing pimple? Dab some lemon juice on the spot (after you’ve rubbed some ice on it to bring down the swelling, that is)! This will help to dry out the pimple as well, preventing it from becoming embarrassingly large. Lemons can also be a remedy of rough or scaly skin. Rub a slice of lemon over your elbows, knees and heels for a few seconds, before rinsing it off. The citric acid helps remove the dead skin cells, revealing the softer skin below! At the same time, lemon juice mixed with water can also be used as a facial cleanser. Rubbing pineapple and lemon on your face can also help reduce the appearance of large pores and blemishes.Lime juice is a much more potent substitute for lemon juice, as limes are much more acidic. You can use limes in place of lemons, but if you have sensitive or dry skin, it is best to stick to lemons!
  4. Vaseline 
    Not only does Vaseline heal cuts, it can be used as a beauty product, too.  It helps remove eye makeup and moisturizes the sensitive skin around your eyes. Rubbing  this petroleum-based product onto dry elbows and rough feet will also instantly moisturize them. Chapped lips getting you down? Dab some Vaseline on your lips before gently scrubbing them with a toothbrush. Use a tissue paper to wipe off the excess, and voilà! Your lips will feel soft and moisturized!
  5. Cucumber
    Cucumbers are the fourth most cultivated vegetables in the world, and contain a world of benefits. Eating cucumbers keep the body feeling refreshed and hydrated, as it is 95% water and has a great deal of Vitamin B. Cucumber skin can be used for skin irritations or sunburns. Placing a slice of chilled cucumber over your eyes also help reduce puffiness as it has anti-inflammatory properties. Holding a slice of cucumber to the roof of your mouth with your tongue for 30 seconds will also prevent bad breath!
  6. Milk
    Cleopatra knew all about the beautifying effects of milk – in fact, she took baths in it! The lactic acid in milk serves as a gentle skin exfoliant, while its natural fat content acts as a body moisturizer. Milk is the main ingredient in these do-it-yourself formulas to soften, lighten, polish and moisturize skin as well as remove blemishes.
  7. Tea bags
    After making a cup of tea, do you toss the tea bags out? Well, if you have dark, under-eye circles or ‘panda eyes’ as they call it, these tea bags could be your savior! Lie down, preferably in the morning, and leave the cold and damp caffeinated tea bags over your eyes for about 10-15 minutes. Remember to keep your eyes closed, and ideally, refrigerate the tea bags overnight so that they will be ready in the mornings. The tannin in the tea bags help reduce swelling and discoloration!
  8. Water
    Getting enough water each day – the recommended amount being 8 glasses of water a day – might be tough to swallow for some, but having hydrated skin is the first step to beautiful skin! Sufficient water in your system helps keep skin hydrated, plump and radiant. The water temperature you use while washing your hair or face is also pretty important. Use warm water to open up the hair cuticle or pore, so that the moisturizers and nutrients can penetrate into the hair shaft and skin. Do a cold-water final rinse to close the cuticles and pores. This is especially important for hair, as a closed cuticle reflects light better, giving hair a natural shine.
  9. Baking soda
    Baking soda has a naturally abrasive texture. Combined with its acidic neutrality, baking soda is a great exfoliant! For best results, exfoliate 2-3 times a week. Also, if your face appears red after using this combination, you can either reduce the amount of baking soda used or apply the treatment at night so that your skin has time to calm while you sleep! All you have to do is combine one tablespoon raw organic honey and one teaspoon baking soda in your palms and rub together. Then, massage your face gently in circular motions. Let sit for a minute and rinse thoroughly with warm water.
  10. Facial cleansers, toners and moisturizers
    If you’re really serious about putting your best face forward, invest in these products! The benefits of toners and moisturizers are plentiful, but if it is out of our budget range, then consider getting a facial cleanser first. It is important to rid your face of bacteria, and a highly specific cleanser will make better skin attainable. Remember to wash your face in the morning and before you go to sleep at night!
  11. Your bed 
    How is your bed a beauty fix? Well, they don’t call it beauty sleep for nothing! Sleep is one of the best things you can do for your body. Staying up too late or not getting enough sleep wreaks havoc on your skin, causing it to look dull, tired, and makes it more likely to break out in zits! Eek, definitely not what you want, right?
  12. Self-confidence
    The secret to being self-confident is in loving yourself… or at least, pretending to be confident. Sometimes, you have to fake it til you make it!


Whether your aim is to have a decent, zit-free face for school photo day, or to catch the eye of your crush, these beauty fixes are affordable and will do the trick in helping you put your best face forward!

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Ann-Marie Khor

Perpetually glued to all things techie, Ann-Marie Khor is a self-proclaimed 'Industrious Sloth' who constantly reminds herself to 'enjoy life' (as her physics teacher suggests!). The 19-year-old Form Six student somehow manages to keep her head above water with a healthy dose of Glee, 9gag memes and loads of laughter.

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