How to Give Yourself a Simple, Natural Manicure & Pedicure

How to Give Yourself a Simple, Natural Manicure & Pedicure
Paying for manicures and pedicures becomes a costly habit, but many people think the alternative - doing it yourself - is just too much of a hassle. However, you can easily perform a simple manicure or pedicure on yourself in the comfort of your own home, using materials you likely already have in your kitchen. You really don't need the chemical-laden fancy soaps and exfoliants that beauty salons provide to keep your fingers and toes clean and looking pretty. Although going to salons can be relaxing, it's pricey and you also run the risk of picking up infections from improperly cleaned and sterilized tools.

You'll Need:

- warm water
- milk or apple cider vinegar/rice vinegar/white vinegar
- baking soda
- nail clippers, cuticle stick, nail buffer
- towel
- moisturizer
- essential oils (optional)


1. Start with polish-free nails, and soak your hands or feet in a bowl/bucket of milk or vinegar of your choice. The lactic acid in milk helps gently loosen dead cells from your skin, while vinegar does the same thing. DO NOT mix milk and vinegar together; that could get messy. If you would rather not use milk or vinegar, soak your hands/feet in a bowl/bucket of warm water instead. Feel free to add a few drops of your favorite essential oils into the water to create a soothing fragrance. If you suffer from any kind of bacterial or fungal infection, I would suggest adding a few drops of tea tree oil, which has very effective natural antibacterial and anti-fungal properties.
2. Rinse off your hands/feet, and now is the time to use your nail clipper to trim your nails to your desired length and shape. Use your cuticle stick and nail buffer to shape your cuticles and buff the surface of your nails too, if you wish.
3. Create a paste using baking soda and warm water, and use this to gently scrub your hands/feet to exfoliate them. After you're done, rinse off the paste and dry your hands/feet; you'll find your skin will feel very soft and smooth.
4. Rub some moisturizer into your skin and cuticles to keep them hydrated, and you're done! Put on some nail polish if you'd like.


There is no science or absolute rule to how you can perform manicures and pedicures. Feel free to omit some steps, add some steps, and substitute natural ingredients if you'd like. Just remember to make sure all the things you are using are clean and sterile.

Salubrious Selection: Make Up For Ever HD Foundation

Salubrious Selection: Make Up For Ever HD FoundationMake Up For Ever's High Definition Foundation is my new favorite foundation. I know $40 per one 30ml-bottle of foundation may not seem to fall in line with my generally frugal habits, but just a little bit of this stuff goes a long way. I think for the quality of the product and for the fact that one bottle lasts a surprising amount of time, it's quite worth it. This product is also dermatologist tested, and of course, MUFE is a cruelty-free brand.


This foundation is a medium-to-full coverage liquid foundation, and according to MUFE, is oil-free. It may not seem that way since it does come out of the bottle rather runny with a creamy consistency, but it does dry very quickly. MUFE says this foundation moisturizes while hiding skin imperfections, with the product remaining invisible on HD cameras and to the naked eye. I think this a bit of an exaggeration, but I do still think the product works well and blends well.


The foundation comes in a simple, sturdy, no-nonsense pump bottle, which I like. It may be strange to focus on the pump nozzle, but I really appreciate how the bottle dispenses a very appropriate amount of product with one squeeze. Not too much, not too little, and so far I have not experienced any air pockets finding their way into the nozzle, causing an explosion of foundation when you press it, either.

If you prefer medium-to-full coverage, one pump of the nozzle is enough, but if you enjoy very full coverage, go ahead and use two pumps. I find that even with two pumps of foundation, it still manages to look and feel natural on my skin. However, I prefer light coverage, and I love how only using half a pump of this foundation is enough for sheer coverage where I need it.

What's also great about this line of MUFE foundation is that it comes in a wide range of over two dozen shades, so most people can find a color match as true to their skin tone as possible. Some people even choose to blend two different colors together, or use different colors for highlighting and contouring.

Salubrious Selection: Make Up For Ever HD Foundation


I've read that some people have experienced cakiness or an appearance of dry skin after using this foundation. I have not experienced this. Then again, I have oily skin, so this may have helped the product blend into my skin better.

However,  I have noticed that any brand of foundation tends to look cakey if it isn't evenly applied, or looks dry if a person's skin is not properly hydrated. I would say for cakiness, try using a different method to apply the foundation. If the foundation appears dry, apply a thin layer of moisturizer before applying foundation, and remember that in general, drink enough water so that your skin stays hydrated!

Also, I also used to complain about foundation products looking unnatural on my skin, until I realized how important it was to really match your foundation to your skin tone. Take your time to find a color match as true to your skin color as possible, and walk around for awhile after application to see how it looks under different lighting and after oxidation. Sometimes foundation seems to make your makeup look a lot worse, and really the biggest problem was that it wasn't the right color for your skin. Finding the right shade really makes a world of difference.

To Apply:

The MUFE website suggests using soft sponges or nylon brushes to apply this foundation. I personally like a good stippling brush to apply my foundation, and prefer the SEPHORA COLLECTION Pro Stippling Brush #44. I've been using it for well over a year and it hasn't let me down yet.

How to Use Cocoa Powder as a Natural Bronzer or as Contouring Makeup

If you're looking for a more natural, cheap alternative to cosmetic bronzers, just look in your kitchen cabinet and see if you have any unsweetened cocoa powder. If you're in the habit of using bronzer, cocoa powder works as an amazing alternative. The deep, chocolate color of cocoa powder also works fantastically well for contouring purposes. It is important to only use unsweetened cocoa powder, to avoid sweeping sugar or other sweeteners onto your face.

Just set aside some cocoa powder in a small container, so you don't contaminate your entire box of powder, and apply it to your face using a contouring or bronzing blush as you would regular makeup. Cocoa powder is a pretty dark powder though, so remember to tap off the excess. If it's still too dark for your liking, just mix some corn starch into it until it's a shade that you think is appropriate for your skin tone. This is pretty much the same idea as using corn starch as a face powder, just with different ratios.

If you're allergic to cocoa, I wouldn't recommend using cocoa powder on your skin. However, if you have no sensitives to cocoa, I say go for it. I've been doing this for awhile and have not had any adverse reactions or breakouts due to using cocoa powder on my skin. Some people use cinnamon powder in their home-made bronzer recipes to create more of a glow. I would personally advise against this as cinnamon can be a very strong irritant, and there is a risk that leaving cinnamon on your skin for an extended period of time could cause irritation, or even a more serious rash. However, try it if you really must, just be careful.

In my opinion, cocoa powder seems to have much better staying power than many other pricey cosmetic brands of makeup out there, which is great, since it's much cheaper and one box lasts a very, very long time. Not to mention the fact that I usually have so much trouble finding affordable matte brown makeup colors for the purposes of contouring and bronzing. And even better yet, sometimes when I'm out and about, I catch the very slight scent of the cocoa powder on my face, and every time it's a subtle and pleasant sensory surprise.