"Long time we didn't know bout all the botox and pharmaceuticals they have today for beauty. We used to use natural things. Like for a good, youthful face- hot some water, draw some caraile bush and drink it, do so ever so often for three consecutive days and that will clean the blood and skin of all impurities. Then rub some Olive oil in your hands and rub on your face and lips to moisten. Aloes real good too- peel the skin off and use the jelly inside and rub on your skin. This will tighten your pores and make you look younger…"
My grandmother Mary is far from a dermatologist and as far as I know she isn't a Hollywood beautician but this recipe for glowing, youthful skin surely works. Perhaps even better than botox if you do it regularly and you eat right. "You must eat right. Drink lots of cooling- carrot juice, celery and cucumber juice- eat lots of fruits and vegetables, cut down on fats and oils, take a purge regularly, the real senna leaves, and your skin will be smooth like a baby's bottom. You bound to be healthier too!" says granny. "Wash your hair with the ratchet plant for dandruff after grating it and leaving it to lie for a night and applying it and washing it off from the hair the next day. Afterwards, use coconut oil to moisturize after for a silky look," she adds.
Most people turn up their noses at these traditional concoctions, but it's a fact bush remedies- I rather call them natural homemade beauty secrets- actually give great results and they are cheaper than the store bought toxin infested beauty treatments and cosmetics on the market now. As the world approaches a beauty boom where plastic surgery is the "in" thing not only for the stars but for the ordinary man or woman, the beauty industry is a thriving one. Everybody wants smooth skin, no wrinkles, great hair flowing endlessly (as seen in shampoo ads), a straight nose and pearly white teeth (thanks to veneers or artificial teeth caps). Insert Angelina Jolie lips and a great body and there you have the perfect female model and, for the men, a square jaw and a six pack will do the job. Nobody considers the price of pretty these days as looking good is as much a priority as food, shelter and clothes. If you want more evidence of this phenomenon check out Pennywise branches and the cosmetics stores at the malls on weekends — they are usually filled to capacity with ladies and straight gents too.
So do these store-bought recipes give you gourmet looks? The answer is variable but despite little or no results, people refuse to go natural. Why? Natural is old fashioned and backward. Who wants to use a typewriter when you have the computer regardless of the flaws of computerization? The new emerging trends of beauty enhancement are also quite attractive because popular people are buying into them. Sex and the City's Samantha, (actress, Kim Cathral) frequently indulges in botox escapades and she claims she can't live or look younger (admittedly she does look half her age on the show and in real life) without them. Furthermore, many TV icons also confess to doing some plastic surgery or the other.
Nevertheless, as some of us blindly follow these trends, we seem to ignore the few stars who actually rely heavily on homemade beauty tricks. Like famous model Cindy Crawford's skin care secrets include moisturizing with equal parts of whole (full fat) milk and mineral water. She keeps this concoction in a spray bottle and sprays her face several times throughout the day for extra moisture. It is said that this mixture works best during winter time when skin feels extra tight and dry. Jennifer Love Hewitt eradicates pimples and blemishes by applying a dab of toothpaste to the zit and letting it sit overnight. Daisy Fuentes' weight loss quickie is drinking one litre of chamomile tea and one litre of water daily — the combination accelerates fat burning! Ever tried castor oil for that extra shine and strawberries for that extra white? Catherine Zeta-Jones rubs a small amount of castor oil to keep her hair shiny and she uses a weekly homemade tooth paste of mashed strawberries mixed with baking soda. Strawberries are a natural whitener as is baking soda. Michelle Yeoh rinses her face with lemon juice and water to help tighten pores and even skin tone. Apparently applying lemon juice to a cotton ball can help reduce skin spots and it's great for the oily T-zone area. And there's more — Nicole Kidman, who rinses her hair with cranberry juice to help maintain the beautiful red colour, Julia Roberts soaks her nails in olive oil and warm water to keep them in shape and Susan Lucci snacks on sardines because their omega-3 fatty acids are essential for smooth skin.
Are you ready for some more homemade beauty secrets? These are hardcore Trini mixtures compiled courtesy my grandmother, grandmothers throughout the country and other people with an appreciation for natural alternatives. It is a criterion however; that you must know about bush or consult with a herbalist or "informed granny" before you begin treatments. Not everything green is a helpful herb and following directions in terms of dosages is imperative. Additionally, don't be too hasty for results as with other things these concoctions must take a course before they can be effective. Last but least these remedies will work best with a healthy lifestyle!
• Brush your teeth with baking soda or hibiscus branch and you will be surprised at how white they will get!
• Every week mix honey with brown sugar and paste it on the face and wash off after 20 minutes as a natural exfoliate for dry skin and impurities.
• Rub soft candle in upwards strokes on the neck to prevent wrinkles and rub aloes jelly to tighten the skin.
• Ghee can be used on the desired spot to take marks off your skin.
• Saffron can be made into a paste and rubbed on the skin (and later removed) for skin lightening.
• For softer hands rub Olive oil into skin.
• Sliced cucumber placed on the eyes is a good remedy for tired eyes.
• For a calming effect and a good night's sleep draw three soursop leaves and drink before sleeping.
• For a calm persona bathe with crushed sweet broom bush.
• Use mixture of yellow of egg, aloes and Olive oil and apply to hair then wash off to strengthen hair roots.
• Use khajar under eyes (like eyeliner) to get rid of cold in the eyes.
• For cool underarms and to eradicate foul scents draw young buds of guava and pigeon peas and drink it.
• Soak charcoal made from Mora wood in water and drink (water that is) for a day to clean blood and entire body.
• Draw three leaves of fat leaf thyme and drink every night as a brain enhancer.