Don’t tell her, but it looks like Mom really did know a thing or two about beauty. In fact, many of the things she did in her younger days are still just as effective now as they were back then.
Here’s how to tap into the beauty secrets of generations past that experts say are still just as legit as they were back then.
Hairstylist and makeup artist Vince Smith, owner of the Hair Experience salon in New York City, says to skip dousing your head with beer or lemon juice to increase shine—and go straight for the vinegar. “Apple cider vinegar is your best bet because it closes the cuticle and returns hair to its natural pH,” he says. “It also removes build up, making hair noticeably shinier.” Mix a half-cup of vinegar with a half-cup of water and apply after shampooing, then rinse thoroughly. Be careful not to get it in your eyes, though, or it can burn and cause irritation.
Use one day every other week for best results.
Yogurt enjoyed a food-turned-face mask fad back in the 80s, and it still holds up to today’s standards. Not only does yogurt have numerous health benefits when eaten, like helping keep you regular, but Smith says yogurt’s lactic acid makes it a good exfoliant, too! He suggests making a deep-cleaning yogurt mask by mixing:
- 1 Tbsp yogurt
- 1 Tbsp flour
- 1 tsp cucumber juice
- 1 tsp honey
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 egg
“Leave the mask on for 15 to 20 minutes and then rinse with warm water,” suggests Smith. “Make sure to follow-up with a toner and moisturizer.”
Want to know how Mom managed to have perfectly groomed eyebrows without the pain? It was likely her canker sore gel! Physicians Formula’s makeup artist Joanna Schlip says canker sore gels numb the brows, making them the ideal pre-plucking secret weapon. “Apply the amount the packaging suggests you use on your teeth, canker sore or gums to your brow 5 to 10 minutes before tweezing or waxing.” A tweeze here and a pluck there, and you won’t even feel a thing. Just don’t go lower than your brow bone, though, as Schlip says that the gel may cause irritation and redness if it gets in your eye.
For decades women have maintained a dazzling smile by brushing with baking soda. And dentists say if you’re looking for white teeth, you should too. “Instead of whitening strips and treatments, you can add a baking soda mixture to your regular toothpaste,” says dentist Laura Torrado, founder of The Torrado Group in New York City. The baking soda and salt are abrasive polishing agents, and peroxide oxidizes the outer layer of the enamel, which is why the combination works so well.
Add equal amounts of baking soda and toothpaste with just enough peroxide to make it the same consistency as the original toothpaste, and throw in a small pinch of salt. “You can brush with this mixture 2 to 3 times a week, especially if you’re a coffee and wine drinker,” she says.
But this isn’t for all smiles. “Don’t use it on veneers because they’re made from highly polished, non-porous porcelain, and the abrasive aspect of the mixture will dull a veneer’s luster,” says Dr. Torrado.