It's so easy - almost automatic - to buy all your beauty products at a store. But should you?
Well, what else can you do? Make them yourself? Believe it or not, you can.
If you're feeling bored, adventurous or just want to save a few bucks, there are tons of surprisingly simple recipes for beauty products online.
Photo from collective-evolution.com
Shown are lemons and baking soda. Lemon juice and baking soda can be used to help whiten teeth.
A quick Google search for any type of beauty product recipe will direct you to several natural beauty sites with tested and tweaked tutorials, including makeup, face washes, shaving creams and more.
Not only are these products more natural (you know exactly what's in them), you also can customize them.
Here are some of the simplest recipes I've found, to provide a sample of how easy and cheap it can be to make your own beauty products.
For your teeth
Many of us, especially coffee and tea drinkers, have wanted whiter teeth at some point.
And we're not alone. Each year, Americans are spending more than a billion dollars on whitening products and procedures, hoping to achieve a glowing, brilliant smile.
When whitening teeth at home, most people choose a product like Crest Whitestrips. But even the cheapest, smallest package of Whitestrips costs about $15.
What if I said you could achieve similar results with two ingredients you probably already have in your house?
Do you have baking soda? What about lemon juice?
All you need to do is mix these two ingredients together to make a paste.
Apply the paste to dry teeth and let sit for about a minute, then rinse it off and brush teeth as normal.
The lemon juice acts as a bleaching agent, while the abrasive baking soda helps remove surface stains.
Just be sure not to leave it on too long or use it every day, since the acidity of the lemon juice can damage tooth enamel. Some people suggest using just baking soda and water every other day to continue whitening without the lemon juice, which may become too harsh.
For your hair
For updos, curls and just to tame everyday flyways, hairspray is a must in many people's beauty routines.
Although nowadays hairspray is safer than the vinyl chloride-laden varieties of the 1970s, it's usually still full of potentially harmful chemicals. And if you use a lot of it, the cost of all those bottles can add up.
Instead, try this recipe from thankyourbody.com to make your own natural hairspray, which can be adjusted for stronger hold and made to smell however you like.
There are only three necessary ingredients: 2 teaspoons of granulated sugar, 1/2 cup of water and a few drops of isopropyl alcohol or vodka. Add more sugar to give the hairspray a stronger hold.
To change the scent, simply add a few drops of an essential oil.
Surprisingly, this sugary, homemade hairspray seems to work. And according to commenters, it somehow doesn't attract swarms of bees to your head, either.
For your hygiene
Deodorant is something most people don't even think twice about. Just buy a stick and use it until it runs out, right?
Lately, there has been much discussion among "natural" beauty enthusiasts about the possible harmful effects of commercial deodorants on the body.
If you're feeling let down by your current brand or are just curious to try a different, more natural type of deodorant, here's a simple concoction.
Wholelifestylenutrition.com provides a recipe that calls for 1/3 cup coconut oil, 1/4 cup baking soda and 1/4 cup arrowroot powder.
The only instructions are to combine the ingredients until they form a solid substance and then wait for it to dry after applying.
A few other recipes recommend adding corn starch as well, since it provides an antiperspirant effect.
Never fear if you don't like the deodorant, though. If you've already bought the coconut oil and arrowroot powder, there are plenty of other beauty recipes that require them.
DIY beauty products aren't for everyone. When it comes down to it, sometimes it's easier to just buy something at the store.
But it's nice to know that you have options - and even incorporating one or two homemade products into your regimen can still save you money and help you to be more natural and eco-friendly.
Motter, a native of Jersey Shore, is a graduate of Lock Haven University. Her column is published on the third Friday each month in the Lifestyle section. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.