6 Simple Tricks To Make Your Home Smell Amazing

I can make a pretty safe bet that if you are no longer a rebellious teenager living with your parents than you probably have no desire to sit around a messy room. Even though I am not always the tidiest person, I still strive to keep my home in a liveable condition. I also love to have scented candles and sprays to keep my house smelling good at all times. The only trouble with those is that they can be costly and contain chemicals that can be harsh for some people’s lungs.

According to Statista the average Canadian works 35-40 hours per week. On top of that a lot of people have some sort of side hustle going on to make ends meet, a family to take care of, or even extra classes in the evening.  Any of these situations could be yours and you may not have the time to keep the house as organized as you want.

Now we may not have the time to keep our house perfectly tidy, but there’s no excuse for having a stinky home. Nobody wants to come home after working all day to a place that smells awful.

Today I am going to share some simple tricks with you guys for keeping your house smelling good, ones so simple you’ll be able to keep up with them even during your busiest days.

Tip #1:

To keep things simple, I will start with the easiest tip that you won’t need to buy any supplies for. All the air fresheners and scented candles won’t do a bit of good if you do not allow a cross breeze in your home. Think about all the sweating and farting that goes on inside your home.

As natural as it is, let’s face it-it stinks. If you don’t air those rooms out the stench will just linger. Just cracking a window open will only help slightly. A cross breeze is the most effective way to air those smells out. So make sure you open up all of your windows and keep the doors to your bedrooms and spare rooms open. This makes it easier for air to flow through. Opening all the windows but then deciding to hang out in your bedroom with the door closed will defeat the whole purpose.

Tip #2:

For this next tip all you will need is a cotton ball and your favourite essential oil. Place a few drops (5 or 6) of oil onto the cotton ball and let it soak up. These are great because they are small enough to stay hidden. I usually place one in the bottom of my trash can to keep it smelling on the pleasant side.

These little beauties can be placed anywhere you’d like because they are very easy to keep out of sight. Put them inside drawers to keep your clothes smelling good, or even on top of the shelves in your closet.

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Tip #3:

Keeping with the essential oil theme, for this next one you will need a standing fan, scented oil of choice and a piece of tissue. All you need to do it put a few drops of oil on the tissue and tape the tissue to the front of your fan. The fan will blow the scent into your room. It’s a safer option than a candle as well.
Tip #4:

Fabric spray is a simple and amazing solution to get those hard to wash items smelling good. Most fabric sprays deodorize your items, doing a little more than just covering up a mess with a nice scent. 
This is the quickest and easiest way to trick people into thinking you’re an amazing housekeeper. Spray your curtains, cushions, rugs ect.

A few minutes of effort really goes a long way with this one.

Tip #5:

Having a bouquet of flowers in your home not only looks pretty, but also helps the room you put them in smell really good. During the summer months there are so many wild flowers growing around, so I like to make my own bouquets. To add a little oomph factor to my bouquets I will put a stem or two of fresh herbs in them. It makes a nice touch and smells fantastic.
My favourite herbs to use are lavender, sage and basil. They all have a strong aroma to them and mix really well with other scents.

Tip #6:

Do you ever notice that the entrance area to your home sometimes gets a bit of a funky smell to it? This could be coming from your shoe rack (or wherever you keep your shoes). Add some peppermint tea to your shopping list and place the teabags in your shoes overnight so they can smell minty fresh.

The peppermint teabag trick isn’t limited to just your shoes though. You can also keep them in your gym bag, sock drawer, or car to keep things smelling good. It is such an easy way to freshen up some of your not so fresh smelling gear.  

Don’t you love it when you’re able to find an easy (and hella affordable) solution to work with. Save these tips for next time you’re cleaning up and keep your living space smelling amazing at all times.

Do you have a favourite blend of essential oils? Let me know in the comments below.

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Everything I Learned My First Year Growing Vegetables

Last year my boyfriend and I started the year off by moving out of a small apartment into our first home. We were faced with so many projects to make this place our own, and once spring arrived the one I was most excited about was making my own vegetable garden. The idea of growing my own food fascinated me. At that point in my life the only food I had ever grown was a propagated tomato plant, and I only ended up with 3 tomatoes on that plant! I wouldn’t say that counts, even though it was better than nothing.

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I wanted to start my plants from seed so I could learn as much as possible about the whole process. Planting from seed is a lot more affordable than buying pre-started plants from a garden center. I don’t discourage checking out what your local garden center has though. They often sell pre-started plants which you may not have found seeds for.
 I had a lot of success during my first year, but also a few flops. I learned a lot from those flops so hopefully this information will help you out so you don’t make those mistakes.

One of the first things you should do when planning your vegetable garden is to figure out how much space you have available. Once you have this figured out it will be easier for you to make your desicion on which plants you want to grow. When you decide which plants you want make sure you do your research and find out how much space each individual plant needs to grow. A huge mistake I made from the beginning was not taking into consideration how much space my plants needed so my garden was crowded in certain areas. The plants in that area were not able to grow to their full potential and I ended up losing out on some crops that could have been.

Each plant you choose will have different requirements to grow properly so it’s really important you do some research on each one before you begin. Be prepared for how tall and wide the plant is expected to grow, how much sun and water it needs, how long it takes to grow, ect. I went out of pure excitement last summer and ended up planting a tomato plant in front of a cucumber plant. I had tons of tomatoes on my tall plant but only grew 2 cucumbers on the short vine. If I had reversed where I planted them then they both would have gotten the proper amount of sun and I would have gotten more cucumbers. The photo below shows a tall tomato plant I grew and that little vine behind it was my cucumber. What was I thinking?

Some plants (such as my zucchinis and tomatoes) grew best when I started them indoors and transplanted them outside, others (lettuce and leeks) grew better when I planted the seeds directly in the ground. When you do your plant research you’ll notice that it is recommended to start certain plants indoors before planting them outside. You may be wondering how do I know when it’s time to plant outdoors? Check out the Old Farmer’s Almanac for the area you live in to find out when the expected last frost will be and the dates it recommends planting each plant outdoors. https://www.almanac.com

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When it gets close to the expected date of last frost make sure to check the upcoming weather forecasts to make sure there aren’t any days coming up that could drop in temperature. Last year I transplanted my seedlings outside after the expected last frost date and sure enough there were a few evenings where the temperature dropped below freezing and killed some of the plants. This is one of the many reasons it’s a good idea to have extra seedlings started as back up. 
You may also have some animals from your area steal your plants so it’s a good idea to have back up. One little critter kept stealing my cucumber plants. I was only able to grow one cucumber plant even though I had started off with 8 seedlings.

I read that marigolds release a scent that repels small animals, such as rabbits and squirrels, and will keep them away from your crops. I don’t think this holds up too well (unless I didn’t plant enough) but i will try it again this year because the puffy little orange and yellow flowers were cute as hell! 

If you really want to keep animals away from your crops it’s best to invest in some plant cages. If you plant a lot and don’t want to spend a lot on cages, you can always make your own with chicken wire. 
Knowing that it’s almost time to start planning out this season’s garden I have started cutting the tops off of 2 liter pop bottles (and other clear plastic bottles of a similar size) and setting them aside. I use these to cover any seed that I plant directly in the ground. This will help keep the soil warm while the seeds germinate. I also had an issue with a critter eating my kale plants as they started to fill out. I put the pop bottle over them and was able to save my kale plants. 
Don’t start all your seeds at the same time. Before I started, this was a piece of advice my father gave me. If i started all the seeds at the same time then I would have all my crops ready at the same time. Not only would that be overwhelming, but it would also result in a lot of waste since I wouldn’t be able to eat everything. So for each type of plant I wanted I planted the seeds on different dates. This gave me a steady flow of crops come harvest time.
Give your garden a good clean out before planting anything. Loosen that soil and dig out any rocks or weeds that could get in the way. Your plants need space for their roots to grow strong. This is also a good time to mix in any compost you would like to add to your soil. Items such as coffee grounds, egg shells and banana peels provide a lot of nutrients to grow healthy plants. Also make sure you have picked a stable area for your plants that gets a good amount of sunlight and is not likely to flood. If you plant anything in bins or containers make sure they are able to drain properly.
Always check your plant’s information on how long it takes to grow crops. You don’t want to harvest anything too early or too late. They won’t taste right. I had left a couple vegetables out too long and they ended up having a very bitter taste to them, not to mention the texture was just awful. 
If you’re wondering what vegetables are the best options for new gardeners, most people always have success with the following plants if they take care of them: 
  • Tomato
  • Lettuce
  • Zucchini 
  • Cabbage
  • Beans (green/yellow)
  • Peppers
  • Carrots
  • Peas
  • Kale
If it’s your first year gardening always start small. You may be excited to grow your own food and want to go big, but there is a lot to learn and you don’t want to end up with one big overwhelming mess. It’s better to start small and learn as you go. Your plants will be more successful and you can add more the following year with more experience.

I can not wrap this post up with out suggesting you also add an herb plant or two to your garden. They smell amazing and add more flavor to your meals. (They’re also very easy to grow) 
What do you plan on planting this year? Let me know in the comments below. 
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A DIY Tutorial: Cinnamon Lip Plumping Scrub

Let’s talk about lips. Full, plump, smooth lips that can wear any lipstick colour like a second skin. I love the look of bold colourful lipstick, but if your lips aren’t perfectly smooth it will look cracked and messy. 

This can be especially tricky during the winter months. The air is colder and dryer. My water intake goes down while my coffee intake goes up. It seems like no matter how much lip balm I put on, my lips still feel dry and chapped. 
A sugar scrub is an amazing all natural (and super affordable) way to keep your lips smooth and hydrated. They scrub off all of the dead skin leaving your lips looking and feeling rejuvenated. 
There are so many different diy lip scrub recipes out there, so it did take some experimenting to find the one that stood out as my favourite. As you can see from the picture below I started off with dry dull lips that were in need of a pick me up. After the scrub (and a layer of lip balm) my lips look fuller and healthier. 
There are only 3 ingredients in this scrub, and you probably already have them in your kitchen. All three ingredients play a crucial role in the making of this lip scrub. 
Rubbing cinnamon on your lips will increase the blood flow which will result in your lips plumping naturally. 
Sugar will scrub away any dead skin that has built up on your lips leaving a smooth shiny surface. You can use brown or granulated sugar for the recipe. Either one will do the job. 
Olive oil will be needed as the base to hold the sugar and cinnamon together. It will also nourish and hydrate your lips leaving them healthy and shiny. 
Recipe:
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon 
1/2 tsp sugar (brown or granulated)
1 tsp olive oil
Mix all 3 ingredient together in a small dish. You will probably end up with more product than you need for one application. You can keep the rest covered and try to keep it in a cool dry area.
Before applying this mixture make sure you have clean dry lips. Also test the mixture out on a small area of skin to make sure you do not have a reaction to any of the ingredients. 
All you need to do is gently massage the mixture into your lips, giving extra attention to the dry spots. Don’t worry about getting this all over your face, it’s safe for your skin. I also got it all over my teeth, it tasted pretty good to be honest. 
See…I made a mess with it! You will notice a slight tingley feeling as you’re massaging the mixture. That’s the cinnamon plumping your lips. 
Once you’ve given your lips a nice little massage wipe the mixture off with a damp face cloth. It will come off easily. Apply a layer of lip balm to keep those lips moisturized.
As you can see from the pictures my lips look so much healthier after that scrub. This is something you will only need to do once a week (two times maximum). If you do it too often you will exfoliate the oils and skin cells you need away. 
If you enjoy diy beauty treatments try out an all natural face mask with some of the ingredients from one of my other posts 15 Natural Ingredients For Flawless Skin and don’t forget about the All Natural Pore Cleansing Scrub to get your face ready for that face mask. 
Now that your lips are ready go bold and try out that lipstick colour you’ve had your eye on. What’s your favourite shade of lipstick? Let me know in the comments below. 
*If you’re searching for a hot new lip colour check out one of the affiliate links below for some affordable and beautiful cosmetics. Your purchase can help keep this blog running.*
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Instagram Backdrops You Already Own

Do you ever open up Instagram and see an account showing off their shopping loot and it looks picture perfect like a page from a magazine? The perfect Instagram pic. The next time you go out shopping you remember that picture, so when you get home you arrange all your goodies on the table and take a few snaps! You take a look at your pics and all you see is a pile on the table. What gives?

I’m an introvert so I don’t have too many pictures of outings on my Instagram page. To break up the usual selfie, cats, garden photo reel that is my page I like to throw in the odd picture of objects; such as coffee/tea breaks, food, books, and things I bought that I think others might like.

As you can tell, that picture above is pretty boring. If you had no interest in the book you would keep strolling, not feeling intrigued at all.

This picture on the other hand probably did a better job at getting your attention. So what did I do that was so different? Did it take a lot of time and attention? Did it cost any extra money? The main difference here is that the book is in a well lit area, accompanied by attractive objects that don’t take away the attention, and it has a comforting backdrop.

A backdrop can make or break your picture. I recently decided to look up how to make a DIY backdrop so I had something to display my shopping hauls on and was astonished by how much was required to spend on craft supplies to make one.

If you have items you are trying to sell then it makes sense to eventually purchase the supplies to make a professional looking background. Myself on the other hand, if I just got back from Sephora or the bookstore than I can guarantee that I went over budget and will not be spending another $30 or more for something cute to lay my loot out on just to get some extra likes.

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What if I told you that you didn’t have to spend a dime to get a backdrop that will make your pics look praise worthy? It’s true, you just need to get creative and take a look around your belongings.

Once you have decided what the subject of your picture is going to be you need to figure out what kind of theme you would like your backdrop to have. (Maybe something knitted to show off your new winter socks and the book you’re going to read while curled up in them, or a pastel colour with florals to show off your new spring nail polish colours.)

Once you know what type of display you want your backdrop to have take a look around your place to see what you have that suits the colour or pattern you want to show off your subject on.

The following items are some ideas of things you could use:

  • Throw pillows
  • Decorative blankets
  • Placemats 
  • Wrapping paper
  • Patterned/textured shirts, dresses or skirts
  • Sweaters
  • Hardwood floors
  • Textured counters
  • Lace table runners
  • Patio stones
  • Floor mats/rugs
  • Foot stools
  • Bed sheets
My favourite thing to use as a backdrop are throw pillows. I have so many around my house so I feel like theres always something different to work with. The picture above of The Hypnotist was taken on a furry throw pillow.

A backdrop isn’t the only thing that makes your picture stand out. As you can tell the picture above has a backdrop but is still stuck in the Plain Jane category.

Wow, what a difference! A few items placed around your subject makes it look a lot less lonely. I added items from my beauty bag to give this book picture some girly vibes. I also made sure to have better lighting this time around. Play around with filters and effects too, each one is different and you can create some very unique content with them.
In the picture above I used a white foot stool against a gray wall to show off this haul of bath products. I played around with filters until I was able to bring out the colours of the brighter objects and darkened the wall to keep attention on the colours. It created a very eye catching effect. The photo editing app I use is called Photoshop Express, which I found in the Google Play store for free. (I should also mention that I am not affiliated with any product or service that I have mentioned or photographed in this post. I only mention them because I like the products)

When you have your items arranged on their chosen backdrop don’t worry about having the perfect shot. Just shoot a few good clear pictures and then crop the picture so it looks like your backdrop is the background that your items are sitting on.
 
For this picture of some of my favourite beauty products I used a crochet skirt for the backdrop. I cropped the picture and played around with some filters until I created something worthy for an Insta story. 
As you can see it’s easy and the possibilities are endless. Try it out and leave me the links to your pictures in the comments below.

The Best Natural Remedy For Cleansing Pores

I can’t deny that I am guilty of quite a few not-so-skin-friendly habits. I love to wear makeup, especially highlighter on my cheekbones (and everywhere else because a girl needs to shine!) and liquid lipsticks (which tend to clog pores around the lips like crazy).

Oh and I also have a horrible habit of touching my face and always seem to fall asleep with my hands on my face.
 Ugh…all that oil is just asking for trouble.

With all of this I still manage to have fairly clear skin and keep my breakouts to a minimal. I have a little mixture that I use before cleansing my face and the main ingredient is something that’s probably sitting in your cupboards right now. (If not you can pick it up at your local super market for under $2)
That’s right. It’s baking soda! This stuff right here is amazing for treating breakouts because of it’s anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties. Baking soda will open up your pores and eliminate bacteria. This is why I recommend using it as a pre cleanser before applying a face mask, it will be easier for the mask to draw dirt and oil our of your pores. 
What you will need: 
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp water
Mix thoroughly to create a paste. Remember to always do a spot test to make sure this doesn’t irritate your skin. 
If you really want to give your pores a deep cleansing you should start off by dampening a face cloth with warm water and letting it set on your face for a minute or two until the cloth cools down. The steam will help open up your pores giving you a head start.
Now you will want to apply this mixture by thoroughly massaging it onto your face being careful to avoid your eyes and mouth. Give it an extra rub in areas where you have more stubborn blackheads. 
(Important to know: This mixture is for deep cleansing so it is recommended you only use it once or twice a week so you don’t end up stripping your skin of it’s natural oil.)
Once you have applied the mixture to your face use a damp cloth to dab off any mixture that made it’s way onto your lips. That stuff won’t hurt you, but it tastes awful. 
You might notice a tingling sensation, that just means the mixture is working. 
Now let it set for 3-5 minutes or until it’s dry all over. If you have a store bought mask go sit down and have a break for a few minutes. If you’re planning on making a diy face cleansing mask now is the time to mix it up. 
The mask that I am making this time around consist of:
1 tsp green clay powder 
1 tsp honey
1/2 tsp rose water 
If you don’t have these ingredients don’t worry. Check the link below about natural ingredients for skincare and find the perfect mixture for what your skin needs.
Once the baking soda mixture has dried wash it off with warm water so you keep those pores open. We want to get all that guck out of them! 
Now apply your face mask of choice and let it set for approximately 15 minutes. 
Once your mask has set wash it off with cool water to tighten those pores. That will make it harder for dirt and bacteria to get back in there. Now follow up with your usual moisturizing routine. 
I start off by rubbing some rosewater on my face (as an all natural toner alternative) and moisturizing with Tarte Maracuja oil. I love this particular oil on makeup free days. It hydrates my skin without clogging my pores. 
Tarte Cosmetics: Maracuja Oil  (it is on the pricier side but it’s amazing and you only need a little bit at a time so it’s really worth the buy in the long run)
I was incredibly happy with my results from this mixture. My skins feels refreshed and has a healthy glow to it. 
Give it a try and let me know in the comments below how it worked out for you! 

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15 Natural Ingredients For Flawless Skin

Home remedies are amazing for two particular reasons:

1. They’re safe and use natural ingredients. 
2. They’re incredibly budget friendly.
Do you ever notice a breakout starting late at night? Or maybe a dry patch of skin first thing in the morning before you get a chance to go out. If you don’t have the beauty products on hand to deal with these situations there’s a good chance you can find something in your kitchen that will do the trick. 
I love kicking back with a face mask and have discovered many items I keep in the kitchen also help with fighting breakouts and nourishing my skin. It has saved me quite a bit of money too.
Today I’m exploring 15 different items from the kitchen that are beneficial for your skin. Although most of these items have several beneficial factors for your overall health, I am just focusing on topical use and skin care benefits. 
If you don’t already have these items at home they’re affordable enough to try out. You may even ditch some of your regular skincare products for these alternatives. 
1. Honey:


Honey is my favourite natural skin care solution. I use it as a base for pretty much every face mask I make at home. Honey has anti-bacterial properties which fight acne and unclog pores. It also soothes and moisturizes the skin bringing out your natural glow. We also can’t forget that it tastes amazing!
2. Rosewater:

Rosewater isn’t a common ingredient for most households, but it’s affordable and wonderful so make sure to add it to your grocery list. 
Seriously, I replaced toner with rosewater for my daily face cleansing routine and I haven’t looked back. My skin feels so softs and smooth, my cheeks have a natural glow, and it smells amazing. 
Rosewater is full of anti-inflammatory properties. It helps fight acne and maintain your skin’s ph balance. I am in love with rosewater. 
3. Olive Oil:


Olive oil is a versatile beauty. It works it’s way into pretty much any dish (I love butter, but olive oil is so much easier on the stomach) and it’s also great for your skin. Dab a bit of olive oil on a cotton ball and use it to remove that built up makeup without worrying about clogging your pores. Olive oil is a naturally intense moisturizer which is great for extra dry skin and soothing rashes. 
4. Turmeric: 
Turmeric is a staple in many curry dishes, but I’m not here to talk about cooking today. This beauty of a spice has some amazing anti-inflammatory properties. It’s great for fighting breakouts, reducing acne scaring and healing wounds quickly. It’s also full of antioxidants that bring out your natural glow. 
5. Oatmeal: 
Oatmeal is nice and soothing for your skin, but if you want to use this as part of a face mask make sure you put a strainer in your sink before you rinse off. Oatmeal is a great exfoliant that is easy on sensitive skin. It hydrates and nourishes your skin, which is a nessessity during the winter months. I like mixing plain oatmeal with milk and honey to soak my hands in for roughly 15 mins. They feel so soft and hydrated afterwards. I also just dump the oatmeal into the compost bin to avoid clogging the sink. 
6. Yogurt:

Plain yogurt is an excellent base for a face mask. It naturally reduces wrinkles and fine lines. It also helps blemishes fade quicker. If you have any yogurt that’s recently expired don’t toss it, make a face mask instead. 
7. Lemon:    
Lemon is a natural cleaner. It’s anti-bacterial but also gentle on the skin. Lemon is great for killing bacteria and drawing out oil that causes blackheads and breakouts. Test a bit of lemon juice on your skin first just incase you have sensitive skin. If it doesn’t burn apply lemon juice straight on your black heads. If that is too strong for you, mix some lemon juice with either honey or yogurt and apply to affected area. 
8. Garlic: 

This one might be the stinkiest one on the list but if your pores are clogged and you need a strong natural anti-bacterial source to come to your rescue garlic is the one. On top of thoroughly cleaning out your pores, garlic will also reduce swelling and improve blood circulation.
9. Banana:

If you’re reading this and only have one banana left and you’re wondering “Do I eat it or make a beauty product out of it?” You can rest because the inside of the banana peel will do the trick. If the winter weather has your skin feeling dry and flaky banana is perfect for moisturizing dehydrated skin. It is a great exfoliator that removes excess oil and smoothes out dry skin. You can either rub the inside of a banana peel over the affected area or mash up part of a banana and mix it with other ingredients on this list to create a nourishing face mask. 
10: Avocado:


Avocados are hella delicious, and a healthy fat. Eating them can even help out dry skin. If you ever use half and have the other half of one spoil before you got the chance to smash it up on some toast, than put it on your face or any area where you have dull skin. Avocado will hydrate your skin without leaving an oily residue, while also healing dry, flaky, irritated skin. If you never have leftover avocado to spare than avocado oil will do the trick as well. 

11. Cinnamon:

Cinnamon is definitely one of my favourite scents. The honey cinnamon face mask mixture is my go to beauty hack because not only does it smell amazing, but it cleanses and nourishes my face just as nicely as a store bought mask. 
Cinnamon has anti-inflammatory properties and fights acne causing bacteria. Perfect for cleansing those pores. 
12: Egg Whites: 
The egg white face mask has been a favourite of many because it’s been known to draw out dirt and oil while shrinking and tighten pores. Just mix egg whites with lemon juice, apply to face for approximately 15 mins, and rinse off. 
13. Pumpkin:

For this one I would recommend using canned pure pumpkin puree. Pumpkin is amazing because it penetrates deeply into the skin leaving it smoother and more radiant. It softens and brightens your skin which is perfect for these dull winter days.
14: Mint: 
If you don’t have a mint plant in your garden this is the year to add one. Not only are there several health benefits from mint, but these plants also repel certain insects and rodents.
Mint is great for your skin because it kills acne causing bacteria and tightens your pores. It leaves skin feeling refreshed and toned. Mix some mint leaves with honey for a refreshing face mask. 
You can also use mint to soothe itchy bug bites.
15. Apple Cider Vinegar:

Apple cider vinegar is a natural anti-bacterial source that fights stubborn acne. It is great for exfoliating and toning your skin. Another use for apple cider vinegar is to mix it in bathwater to soothe a sunburn.

Now it’s time to raid your cupboards or update your shopping list so you can treat yourself to a refreshing face mask with all natural ingredients.

What’s your favourite combination for diy face masks? Comment below.

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