beauty · food

5 Ways to Enjoy Tea Without Drinking It

If you enjoy tea as much as I do, you will probably find yourself with quite a tea collection at some point. It’s also inevitable that, the more teas you try, the more likely you are to come across a tea that you don’t enjoy. Whether it’s too bland, too bitter, too strong, or just not very tasty, getting a tea that you don’t enjoy drinking is always a bit disappointing. And let’s face it: some of us just don’t enjoy the flavor of tea.

That being said, I have good news! All hope isn’t lost when you purchase a “dud” tea, or when you find yourself the proud owner of a tea that you won’t be drinking (whether you purchased it or it was gifted to you). In fact, it’s possible to use tea in quite a few different ways around your home and within your beauty routine. Of course, you’ll want to pay attention to the ingredients: certain teas shouldn’t be used near your eyes or allowed to sit on the skin unless you don’t mind having some discomfort (“hotter” tea ingredients, like ginger and cayenne come to mind). As always, use wisdom and discretion with any of these recommendations.

Without further ado, here are five ways that you can re-purpose tea leaves. Enjoy!

Bath/bath bomb additiveIf you make bath bombs (like I do), you can add some dry tea leaves to your recipe before you put the mixture into molds. It adds a little additional fragrance and beauty to your bath bombs. If you don’t make bath bombs, you can always just add the leaves directly to your bath. Certain teas, like mint and lemon balm, have invigorating scents and can be a refreshing addition to your bath. These teas can also be mixed with epsom salt for an especially relaxing soak.

Herbal facial steam – Similar to baths, you can use tea to make an herbal facial steam. Some teas (like rose and lavender) are known for their relaxing and beautifying properties. Do a little research on your tea and see if the ingredients are suitable for a face steam. Keep in mind, simple black, green or white teas (without added herbs or florals) are perfectly fine for most skin types. Of course, always proceed with caution, even when using “safe” teas.

Face tonic – Just like herbal facial steams, you can steep the tea in hot water then use it as a toner. Camellia sinensis (the scientific name for tea) is generally considered an astringent natural product. The tannins in it constricts body tissue, making it perfect for pore-tightening and giving the face a very toned appearance. The higher the amount of tannins (generally, these are more numerous in cheaper teas), the more astringent the tea will be. Try using a full strength tea tonic on your skin, then, if you find it is too strong, add water to reduce the potency.

Oil infusion – This is actually my favorite way to use teas that I don’t want to drink. Infusing tea into oil can create a luxurious natural product that can either be applied to the skin, the hair, or added to vinegar or another acidic item (like lemon juice) to make dressing. Infusions are simple: add herbs to as many ounces of oil that you want, let it sit in a dark (preferably cool) area for at least four weeks, and shake the mixture occasionally. Personally, I love adding inexpensive chamomile tea and other herbs to coconut or olive oil, then letting them infuse over a month or two. Once these are infused, I strain the oil, put it in a lovely bottle, then apply it to my hair and skin.

Hair rinse – Certain teas are great for rinsing the hair. You brew the tea as normal, then pour the cooled tea onto the hair after shampooing and conditioning. Chamomile is great for lighter colored hair, while sage is fantastic for dark hair. Also, teas that contain rosemary and lavender can be beneficial for dry, itchy scalp, so keep that in mind. You can also just add dried rosemary and/or lavender to the tea that you’re brewing, then you get the added benefit of those herbs for scalp health.

These are some of my favorite ways to use teas that aren’t so tasty. Do you have any recommendations for re-purposing tea leaves? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below!

beauty

Review: Beauty Benefits Haul

It took me longer than I anticipated to write this review, for two reasons:

1) I bought a bunch of products, so it took time to try them all; and

2) I was underwhelmed each time I tried a product, so I didn’t know if I needed to even bother writing about them.

But, since I bought the products, and I know that some of you may enjoy reading about inexpensive beauty hauls, I figured, why not write about it?

Initial excitement about the products soon turned to apathy LOL

I enjoy using super-luxurious products that deliver BIG on their promises. But I’m also intrigued by bargain brands. I know, for a fact, that many exclusive brands use the same manufacturers as the companies that can be found in a local drugstore. So well-made products can be had at any price point.

However, Beauty Benefits is not a maker of those products. I overwhelmingly disliked the brand but there were a few items that I enjoyed and will use until they are used up.

Here’s what you need to know about Beauty Benefits:

  • The products are CHEAP.  Each product cost $1 at a local Dollar Tree store.
  • The cost correlates to the quality. That isn’t the case for all cheap makeup, but for this brand, it applies. Overall, they don’t apply that well and the textures are subpar.
  • The powder products that should be matte actually have quite a bit of reflective ingredients in them, so you get a little unintended shimmer. That may be find for eyeshadow or blush, but foundation powders shouldn’t sparkle on your face.

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Let’s talk for a moment, beloveds. I don’t expect miracles from cheap makeup. Low investment = low expectations. But note that these were the deepest “foundation powders” offered by Beauty Benefits. The lighter shade, Tawny, isn’t so bad: it’s neutral and could work as a setting powder on my complexion. But the deeper shade, Carob? #trash I’ve not seen such a gray foundation shade in years. It makes a good contour color, since it wouldn’t match any living person’s complexion. And WHY do these companies insist on adding sparkles to pressed powders for the face? It doesn’t look dewy: it looks cheesy. Oh well: it was $1 per powder #yougetwhatyoupayfor #cheapmakeup #bargainbeauty #thebronzebutterfly #thebronzedbutterfly #bronzebutterfli

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That moment when your pressed powder is shimmery and you have to speak up about it

  • The shades aren’t labeled on the products, so once you throw away the packaging, you won’t have any way to recall the name of the shade. I used some stickers to keep them straight, but that’s a bit much for such an inexpensive product: would it really have hurt the manufacturer to put the shade names on the actual product, instead of just on the exterior package?

The blushes before I opened the packages

Blush swatches (with color details in the caption)

 

  • The eye products are surprisingly good. I really enjoyed the eyeliner (the applicator brush isn’t very thin, but the product applies smoothly, albeit with a touch of shimmer. I also liked the lengthening mascara, though it doesn’t “length”. It did a good job of defining the lashes without clumping. Avoid the volumizing mascara: it doesn’t have an interior “rim” to wipe excess product off of the wand before applying to your lashes. You’ll end up with a ton of mascara on your wand EVERY. TIME.
  • I also liked the lip liner. It applied smoothly and is VERY pigmented. I’d purchase it again.
  • I also enjoyed the lip glosses. Shiny, not too sticky, easy to remove (which also means they need frequent reapplications, but that is normal for lip gloss), and doesn’t stain the skin.

With and without flash. (Top to bottom) Lip liner in Red, lip gloss in Terra, Rouge (yes, rouge is basically clear), Geranium, Berry and Ballet

  • While I disliked the brand overall, these actually make really good “intro to makeup” products for young girls. These are great to gift to your daughter, niece or goddaughter, when they want to play in makeup but aren’t responsible enough for the more luxurious stuff.

So, while I disliked the powder products from Beauty Benefits, the liquid liner, mascara, lip liner and lip gloss were okay. And since each product was only $1, I’m not mad at this minimal investment!

Do you all enjoy any bargain beauty brands? Let me know all about them in the comments below!