Snowpocalypse. Blizzard of 2015. Polar vortex round two. Whatever anyone is calling this crazy weather system we are experiencing, snow days are being had and thousands of Northeast inhabitants are holed up in their houses praying that the only two things that don't freeze are their pipes and their Netflix (the latter being of the utmost importance). I get it, New Yorkers. You only got, like, seven of the outrageously high number of expected inches, but just because Manhattan isn't under a very large, extremely heavy, incapacitating blanket of snow doesn't mean Juno isn't rearing it's blustery head. And let's be honest, seven inches of frozen precipitation on the city streets is no walk in the park either, which is why almost everyone in the Big Apple will also be holding off on re-entering the outside world for as long as possible. Mother nature strikes again.
Now, all of this isn't to say that there are no upsides to a yearly white out: There are two sides to every coin, my friends. I mean, as an adult, it isn't often that you are forced to stay home, presented with the opportunity to drink wine in the middle of the day, make hot chocolate from scratch on the stove, frolic willingly in the snow for fun instead of trudge through it out of necessity or watch three entire seasons of Gossip Girl in one day (it is no one's fault that they only give you thirty seconds in between episodes, which is not enough time to even consider turning it off). But, wait, freedom by way of winter wonderland can also be a trap, as there are legitimate emotional stages to any snow day. I warn you, do not fall into the trap. I repeat, do not fall into the trap of claustrophobia and boredom. I promise you, the walls are not closing in on you, there is plenty of 90s television in your queue and, most importantly, I have DIY beauty treatments a plenty to keep you entertained and feeling pampered the whole day through!
Truthfully, wherever you reside and whatever your weather, it is officially winter and that means our skin and hair have turned on us for the season. So, whether you are totally trapped inside or just strategically rationing your quick, out-of-the-house jaunts, here are a handful of easy, at home beauty treatments that you can whip up with unexpected ingredients found in your pantry. It is officially time to primp, pamper and execute beauty prep for the months ahead and the extreme snow fall outside is the perfect excuse to treat yo' self!
Does the winter weather have your face feeling all out of whack? Grab the honey from the kitchen cabinet and combine it with a few simple ingredients based on your skin type and you'll be glowing by the time the snow stops falling.
Ingredients For Oily Skin: The air outside may be dry, but your skin sure didn't get the memo. To fend off pore clogging and avoid over drying this winter, mash up one ripe banana and mix with two tablespoons of honey and a squeeze of lemon juice. Apply liberally to your face, let sit for 10 minutes and rinse off with warm water. The vitamin C in the banana will promote healthy oil production, while the acid found in lemons kicks all of that bad oil build up to the curb.
Ingredients For Dry Skin: If you've got dry skin, you only need two simple ingredients: Yogurt and honey! Mix two tablespoons of yogurt with one tablespoon of honey; apply, relax for 10 minutes and remove with warm water. Both yogurt and honey are known for their super magical, naturally inherent, moisturizing powers.
Ingredients For Acne Prone Skin: Besides Juno, breakouts are the worst natural disaster of the season. To combat acne problems, combine two tablespoons of honey, one teaspoon of nutmeg and one teaspoon of cinnamon. Rub over skin, enjoy the fact that your face smells like a delicious Christmas cookie for 10 minutes and rinse. So many good things are happening here! While the honey moisturizes your skin, the cinnamon and nutmeg clear out current breakouts and get the blood flowing to your face. Nutmeg and honey are also both well known in nature for their anti-inflammatory properties, which means they will help to reduce any redness.
Dry and cracked are quite possibly the two worst words in the English language when they are being used to describe anything, especially your lips. First of all, that pretty pout seriously hurts when it is robbed of the natural moisture it needs. Secondly, how can we be expected to keep an on point pucker when we can't swipe a brightly hued rouge over our cracked, flaky lips? To avoid the pain and discomfort of chapped lips this season and keep your favorite lip color out of retirement, whip up an easy, three-ingredient lip scrub. This home remedy will exfoliate your lips and make way for the layers of moisturizing balm you are going to put on right after.
Ingredients: Combine one tablespoon of coconut oil, one teaspoon of honey and three teaspoons of coarse white sugar. Mix together until a granular paste is formed, lightly scrub the top and bottom lips and rinse off. If you don't have coconut oil in your pantry, a recipe of one tablespoon of honey, one tablespoon of sugar and one tablespoon of olive oil will also do the trick. Snow day have you feeling extra fancy? Add in a splash (half of a teaspoon) of peppermint, almond, vanilla or orange extract for some flavor! You'll be ready to flaunt that pout in no time.
From head to toe, our skin can feel all sorts of off in the winter and the general lack of moisture everywhere means normal, everyday beauty activities no longer work their wonders. A good way to get back to square one — you know, that place where shaving doesn't cause irritation, lotion actually heals dry skin so we aren't constantly itchy, and the thought of using selfless tanner or skin bronzer doesn't leave us with visions of when Ross became an "eight" on Friends — is to use a good, old fashioned body scrub. Exfoliation really is the magical key that opens all doors in the winter and, with the below recipe, you can use your snow day to revamp your whole bod, feet included.
Ingredients: Start with one cup of coarse brown sugar, add in one tablespoon of honey, a drizzle of olive oil and a quarter tablespoon of lemon juice. Mix well and then scrub-a-dub-dub over any skin surface that is rough, dry or in desperate need of exfoliation. The brown sugar will rid your body of those pesky dead skin cells while the honey and olive oil will help replenish some of the moisture you've been missing.
"I woke up like this," in the winter time is generally less Beyoncé and more Kimmy Gibbler. Your hair is hurting and it is understandable. Whether it is wind blown, dried out from the weather or oiled up as the result of product overload, it needs a break. And since you are on a spontaneous stay-cation, share the rest and relaxation love with your hair by treating your tired roots and tips to a mask.
Ingredients: Mash one half of a large avocado and mix in two eggs. Voila! At home hair mask is complete. Once everything is fully combined into a thick paste, spread on your locks from root to tip, let it work for 15 minutes and rinse. This mask is great for all hair types, from dry to oily, because the fats and proteins in the egg yolk help moisturize while the enzymes in the egg whites whisk away (get it?!) all the unwanted oil. And the avocado? Its oils and proteins help smooth the hair, something we can be thankful for all year round. Lastly, if you have super oily hair, you can skip the egg yolk and only use the whites to cut the extra oils and if your hair is desperately dry, go full yolk to enhance the moisture.
We have such diligent digits. All winter they are repeatedly exposed to the elements while we send texts, pay for coffees and wash our hands more times than we can count to avoid the seasonal plague. While you can use a regular body scrub on your hands, it would be nice to give them a little extra TLC on this mother-nature-granted day of freedom. The skin on your hands is notoriously overworked and under-moisturized so, revitalize with an extra rich hand scrub before lathering on the Shea butter and retiring in a pair of gloves for another few hours of Netflix.
Ingredients: You are a mere two ingredients away from hand heaven. Mix equal parts coconut oil and coarse sugar, two tablespoons of each should do it, and stir until combined. Generously apply to hands, scrub up, down and all around, then rinse. Apply loads of lotion and relax with happier hands.
Happy snow days equal happy beauty days! By the time the snow melts, you won't even be recognized, girl.
Image: Getty; Fotolia