Tagged: DIY

Doable DIYs: Home and Dorm Spa Ideas

We decided to tackle some Pinterest-inspired facial DIYs. These DIYs are ones that can be done in your home, or if you’re going back to college (wow, where did summer go?), your dorm room or apartment.

We took ingredients from our pantry and kitchen and braved these three DIYs:

  1. Green Earth Bazaar’s brown sugar lip scrub
  2. Petite Elefant’s DIY pore strips
  3. As We Grow’s blackhead remover

Brown Sugar Lip Scrub

This was a great DIY that we definitely recommend. It takes about 10 minutes, and the resulting product is comparable to Lush’s Mint Julip Lip Scrub.

Our weapons!

What you’ll need:

  • Brown sugar (~$2 or less)
  • Olive oil (~$7)
  • Bowl

As an experiment, we tried the same DIY but used Sugar in the Raw instead of brown sugar. This does NOT work. The sugar grains are too large, and only brown sugar has a consistency that is easy to mix with olive oil to create a scrub.

Brown sugar mixture, Lush’s lip scrub, and sugar in the raw mixture (L to R)

Scrubbing. Happy lips!

This is a far cheaper solution to dry-lips than many chapsticks, lip balms, or lip scrubs, especially if you already own the materials. We actually preferred our DIY scrub to Lush’s lip scrub because of the extra oil, making it more moisturizing and easier to apply.

This is great for a quick girls’ night activity for you college students, or if you have any brown sugar laying around.

Result: effective!

Pore Strips

This is a rather easy DIY (takes about 15 minutes), but using careful measurements are extremely important.

What you’ll need:

  • Flavorless gelatin (~$3)
  • Milk
  • Bowl
  • Makeup brush or popsicle stick

Unflavored gelatin

When we did this DIY, we used 2 tbsp of milk (the instructions say anywhere from 1.5 to 2 tbsp). The most difficult part was being ready to apply the finished solution right when it came out of the microwave. The solution congeals very quickly, but it was also rather hot so be careful to apply quickly but carefully.


Warning: This solution smells pretty bad. We added lavender oil after microwaving and the smell partially went away. It wasn’t so bad that it was unbearable, but for those of you sensitive to smell, be prepared. And in all honesty, peeling the mask off hurts a bit!

Our overall opinion is that this DIY is a viable, cheaper alternative to the Biore pore strips (~$9) and doesn’t dry out your skin as much.

Result: effective!

Lavender-basil Blackhead Remover

The procedure for this is very simple: combine the lavender oil and basil, boil, steam your face, and wash with baking soda.

Dried basil leaves, L’Occitane Lavender Essential Oil


What you’ll need:

  • Lavender oil (we used a $35 L’Occitane oil but it costs about $10 at other stores, like Whole Foods)
  • Fresh or dried basil (dried basil from Walmart for about $5)
  • Baking soda
  • Stove

Our lavender and basil boiling.

However, the results weren’t very satisfactory. We found that our skin felt no different afterwards. Also, the amount of time spent steaming our face was a little longer than we liked, and washing skin with baking soda can burn a little.

Steaming and waiting… tick tock.

If you plan on doing this DIY, try using real basil leaves and keep your face over the steam for the entire time. Let us know if you have a successful experience with this one!

Result: unsuccessful!

All of these fun spa ideas can be done in the comfort of your own home or dorm room, as long as you have at least a stove or something to boil water with — a hot water boiler or microwave, for example. Grab some girl friends and make it happen!

Doable DIYs: Summer Braids

We thought we’d twist it up a bit, give our nails a break, and review three braided hairstyle tutorials. We picked these:

  1. The Beauty Bean‘s waterfall braid
  2. My Kiss and Tell‘s “boho” headband braid
  3. Just Bebe XO’s braided bun

Waterfall Braid

We’ve been seeing versions of this braid all over Pinterest and Instagram, and we were dying to try it even though it looked complicated.

Our results!

Here’s how: 

  1. Take a large section of hair from the side that you part your hair.
  2. Section the braid into three and begin braiding. On the fourth twist, drop one of the sections. Pull that strand down so it falls with your other hair.
  3. Choose another piece of hair and braid it in. Drop and repeat. Tighten each dropped piece by pulling it down after each twist.
  4. Complete the braid by choosing a section of hair similar to the starting piece for the last braid. Bobby pin the braid, and tuck any hair left over under the braid.
  5. If you’re feeling the urge, you can also braid any leftover hair.

Our first few attempts — not so great, but we improved with practice!

In conclusion: The waterfall braid wasn’t easy, but with some practice it’s doable and looks great. Make sure to keep the braid tight and don’t be afraid to pull on the strands you’ve already dropped so it looks nice and neat.

Skill level: Medium.

Cheat Waterfall Braid

If your hair is too smooth or you found it too difficult, we found an even easier “cheat” method. Here is another great tutorial from Cute Girls Hairstyles for a simpler two stranded waterfall that ends up looking just as nice.

Our final result.

Here’s how: 

  1. Take a section of hair from the side that you part your hair.
  2. Section it into two pieces and twist them around each other twice.
  3. Then, section off another piece of hair from the top of your head and drop it in between the two strands, so it falls through them like in the actual waterfall braid.
  4. Twist the two strands again.
  5. Repeat until you reach the other side of your head, and secure with bobby pins.

A close-up of the “cheat” waterfall braid.

In conclusion: Success! This braid was the simplest of all the hairstyles we tried, and great for thinner or less-textured hair. Twice as easy, just as beautiful.

Skill level: Very easy.

Boho Headband Braid

Help! This braid got us all twisted up. We thought it sounded easy: Braid around a headband for a messy-chic look.

Our inspiration.

In conclusion: Unfortunately, the boho headband braid was almost impossible. It was hard to keep the headband over our hair, let alone braid our hair around it. We’re not even going to post a picture of our attempt!

However, we do have a few tips for those of you brave enough to try:

  • If you’re having trouble getting your headband to stay, try using bobby pins or even a looser headband. Thin elastic headbands are also harder to keep in place.
  • Twist your hair away from your face – the braid tends to look better.
  • Use second-day hair.

Do you know a better way? Send us pictures or your own instructions if you succeed at hi@beautybagg.com! Our respect will gladly be given.

Skill level: Very advanced.

Braided Sock Bun

We saw this gorgeous updo all over Instagram and thought it would be a perfect way to upgrade on the basic sock bun.

Our inspiration.

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Tie your hair up with an elastic, then put the bun maker over your hair.
  2. Flip your head over so that the hair falls over the bun maker. Start braiding small pieces of hair, between 4-7 depending on how thick your hair is, and try to spread them out evenly. Secure them with little elastic bands.
  3. Pull another elastic over your hair, creating a bun. Pull your braids out a bit to make them more noticeable.
  4. Twist remaining hairs around the base of the bun, hiding the elastic. Secure with bobby pins.

It might sound a little complicated, but this was one of the easier hairdos because it’s so easy to cover up mistakes. A few more notes:

  • With layered hair, don’t worry about braiding the full length of your hair, since most of it gets wrapped around the bun anyway.
  • Keep your braids tight and relatively thin for best visual effect.
  • If you don’t have a bunmaker, just use a sock!

These were our final results:

We added a flower hair clip for extra cuteness.

In conclusion: Successful! The braided sock bun was a lot easier than we thought it would be and turned out beautifully. We definitely encourage you to try this one. It’s a great updo for those hot summer days when you want to keep your hair out of the way and feels very secure.

Skill level: Medium.

There you have it, four beautiful braided looks for summer. Let us know if you try these. We’re also open to any suggestions or other hairstyle requests, so don’t be shy!