If adverts are to be believed, you need to have a degree in quantum physics, a white lab coat and a clipboard before you can even think about creating your own beauty products. Happily, in real life, you need none of those things (though a white lab coat is quite sexy, and goes with everything).
Here's our guide to making your own lip gloss, bronzer, face powder, body scrub and make-up remover, which are every bit as effective as the pricey ones made by lab-coated, clipboard-toting quantum physicists.
Mix 1 tablespoon fresh aloe vera gel (if you grow aloe vera, you can simply slice open a leaf and scrap the gel from that) with 1/2 teaspoon coconut oil and 1/8 teaspoon vitamin E oil. Simply mix them until smooth, then store in a small clean bottle or balm jar. The mixture will keep for up to a week.
Another option is to heat 50g beeswax until melted, then stir in 1 tablespoon almond, jojoba or rosehip oil, and a drop or two of essential oil for a light scent (your choice). Pour the mixture into a container and allow to cool. This will keep much longer that your aloe vera lip gloss.
If you'd prefer tinted lip gloss, mix in a little of you favourite shade of lipstick – or, if you prefer to keep things completely natural, rub a little freshly sliced beetroot over your lips for a lovely red lipstain, leave to sink in for 30 seconds or so, then apply your homemade lip gloss.
This is going to sound a little strange, but it works a treat on lighter skin tones.
Mix 2 tablespoon ground cinnamon with 1 tablespoon icing sugar to start; then adjust the ratio to suit your skin tone. Mix in a drop or two of your favourite essential oil – not only will this leave it smelling good, but it'll bond the powders together. Press the mixture firmly into an empty powder compact and leave somewhere warm to set. Apply with a large powder brush to your cheekbones, the tip of your nose and chin – anywhere the sun would naturally hit.
NOTE: This mixture will stay put if you keep it upright, but it's likely to come loose and make a mess if you let it jiggle around in your handbag, so take care.
Place 1 cup rice flour in a non-stick frying pan and heat gently. The flour will eventually begin to change colour – give the pan a little shake so the flour is evenly coloured. You'll need to play close attention at this stage so you can control the colour change in the flour – you don't want it to be too dark. The goal is to slowly change the colour to achieve a shade that matches your skin.
It may take a few tries to get it just right, but it's super easy once you get the hang of it. Allow to cool then store in an airtight container and use as needed.
These are just about the easiest things to make – it's a wonder anyone wastes their money buying ready-made scrubs. Here is one of our favourites...
Salt & Sugar Scrub:
Mix 2 cups finely-ground iodated salt (the cheap kind) with 2 cups white sugar (the texture created by the fine salt grains and slightly coarser sugar will leave you with baby-soft skin). Mix in 2 tablespoon almond, jojoba or rosehip oil, as well as 10 drops of rose essential oil and 5 drops of lemon essential oil. Stir to combine thoroughly and use as needed.
Dampen two cotton wool pads with rosewater or witch hazel, then add a drop or two of vitamin E oil to each pad and gently massage over your skin to dislodge make-up. You'll still have to wash your face afterwards, but all your make-up should come off, no problem. (This won't work on waterproof mascara, though.)