I'm back! Did you miss me? My ears are still ringing from last night's gig. Review coming sometime in the next few months, as I still have a backlog of concert posts to wade through...
My last 'Goth beauty' post (on achieving beautiful skin and a lily-white pallor, click here if you missed it) was well-received, and I had a couple of questions that I'm going to attempt to answer, from Emily Lynn and Stephanie, who wanted some more skincare recipes and tips without any bleaching action. After all, pale skin doesn't work for EVERY Goth.
It must be stressed that I am not a skincare expert, my only claims to knowing anything about anything beauty-wise are that I am a cosmetology student, I have a lot of books on natural beauty and skincare recipes, and I have been there, done that, and roadtested everything I post (not to mention made every beauty mistake you can possibly make. Note to self, do not apply cider vinegar to skin after exfoliation, unless of course you WANT to be red and blotchy for the next three days).
So without further ado; a few natural skincare recipes for Gothlings who may or may NOT be pale enough to glow in the dark (not that I glow, exactly. It's more a very faint luminescence) - none of these recipes should have any noticeable bleaching or skin-lightening action. As always, please remember to allergy-test all ingredients first and bear in mind any skin conditions you may have including skin sensitivity.
Honey is a brilliant natural cleansing mask; apply liberally to your face, leave for ten minutes (during which time you will be a sticky, gooey mess, but you have to suffer to be beautiful) and rinse thoroughly.
Those who suffer from dry skin should use a very gentle cleanser - try mixing a teaspoon of almond oil with two tablespoons of full-fat milk and a teaspoon of honey. Massage into your skin, avoiding the eyes and mouth, and rinse.
Darklings with spot-prone or oily skin might find the following recipe helpful - mash up some strawberries and natural yoghurt (try one strawberry for every two tablespoons of yoghurt), massage into your skin with circular motions, leave for a couple of minutes, and rinse. You can also substitute grapes instead of strawberries - in fact, rubbing half a grape over your face is a refreshing natural cleanser.
Tea tree oil is considered to be a great natural cleanser for spots - I have to say it didn't work brilliantly for me, but I'm not one to argue with the experts. You can use a cotton bud to dab it onto spots and leave overnight, or combine a couple of drops with a carrier oil such as grapeseed oil or olive oil and add to one of the above mixtures - but bear in mind that any essential oils should be used with caution.
A while ago, I bought an oatmeal 'cleansing and smoothing' mask from The Body Shop, and was most annoyed when I thought about it later and realised I could have easily made my own. Simply mix together enough oatmeal and natural yoghurt to form a paste (you can also add a couple tablespoons of honey if you like), smooth over your face avoiding the eye area, and leave for ten minutes. Then rinse and pat dry.
A great exfoliator can be made simply by mixing almond oil or olive oil with brown sugar; spend a couple of minutes gently massaging into your skin with a circular motion and rinse. You can also mix one of these oils with sea salt to create a scrub to use on your body - best used on dry skin before stepping into the bath or shower.
A couple of teaspoons of almond oil or virgin olive oil can be added to any of these mixtures to help soften and moisturise the skin; however remember that the keyword here is 'oil' so don't get it in your hair or you will end up greasy, use with caution if you are prone to breakouts, and remember to rinse thoroughly and pat dry. A mixture containing these oils will feel horribly greasy on your skin but when you are all rinsed and dry your skin will feel wonderfully silky. I prefer to use almond oil myself, simply because it smells better.
Auntie A's handy hints (no, I don't actually think of myself as 'Auntie A', most of you guys are probably older than me anyway, I'm attempting to be humourous in a slightly patronising kind of way... sorry about that.)
- No matter what shade of Goth you are, constantly exposing your skin to the elements is a recipe for wrinkles and skin cancer - slap on some suncream.
- You can add essential oils to any of the recipes above - however, ANY essential oils should be chosen and used with caution. Be certain to read the instructions on the bottle properly, as these oils can be harmful if used improperly.
- I know it's an old chestnut and I sound like your grandma, but eating the right foods really can have an overall effect on how you look and feel. Eating lots of fruit and veg may not immediately give you flawless skin, but it will certainly help a lot in the long run.
- Drugs, frequent heavy drinking and smoking will make your skin look crap. This is obvious, so you may wish to consider cutting down.