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3 DIY Exfoliating Facial Masks

Exfoliating is one of the most important steps when it comes to skincare. As we age, the skin doesn't naturally exfoliate as often, so it needs a little help. The immediate benefit to exfoliating is that it removes dead skin and encourages skin cell renewal, for younger looking skin. If you incorporate an exfoliating scrub into your skincare regimen once a week, the long term benefits include a reduction of dark spots, scars, fine lines, and wrinkles. Best of all, with regular at-home exfoliation, you don't need to spend a lot of money on expensive microdermabrasion treatments. With these easy-to-make DIY masks, you'll enjoy glowing, younger-looking skin with the added bonus of a fun and relaxing #selfcaresunday.

I've created three different DIY exfoliating masks to meet different skincare needs and to match different skin types. Each mask is formulated with an essential oil to enhance those skincare benefits. Though you could omit them and just use the first two ingr…

Diamond Engagement Ring On a Budget


The holidays are the biggest time of year for engagements, and it's not hard to guess why. It's a time of gratitude, of joy, and of sparkling holiday lights. It's the most beautiful and magical time of the year. My husband proposed to me a few years ago on Christmas Eve, and the following year we had a Christmas wedding a few weeks before Christmas. Now each year, the holidays are even more romantic, as we remember our engagement and will celebrate our wedding anniversary.

If you're planning on a holiday engagement, here are some great ways to save and still get the ring of your dreams!

1. Be strategic with the setting

If your budget doesn’t cover a larger stone that you want, you can create the illusion of a bigger diamond by picking a halo setting. This kind of setting makes the center stone appear larger and completely changes the appearance of the diamond, making it look somewhat vintage. Personally this is my most favorite look and in fact the kind my husband got me. It has so much sparkle!

2. Choose a prong

Less metal equals less cost. Pick a minimal prong setting instead of a bezel one. More of the stone will be visible, highlighting the diamond and making for easier cleaning.

3. Consider pave diamonds

If your dream is to have a flashy diamond ring but you don’t have the budget, you can fake the look with pave diamonds. These are tiny diamonds that add a sort of crushed ice look to your engagement ring. Since the small stones are more common, they are more affordable. You could opt for a slightly smaller middle stone and then line the band with pave diamonds for exceptional bling. Check the Ringleaders diamond jewellery store in Brisbane for ideas.

4. Consider buying shy

Shopping for diamonds is all about the 4 Cs – carat, cut, colour, and clarity. When we look at carat size, keep in mind that you can save a great deal without sacrificing the look of the diamond if you buy shy.

5. Find a middle ground

Like carat size, as clarity and colour grades improve, so the price goes up. However, the naked eye cannot tell the difference between near perfect and perfect. For great value, pick a near colorless diamond that looks clean to the unaided eye.

6. Choose gold over platinum

Platinum is extremely durable, which is good if you have an active lifestyle. It also won’t change color or fade with time, and it keeps its white, silky shine. But, these qualities come with a hefty price tag. You can get the same fashionable look, though, with white gold, which is resistant to rust, corrosion, and tarnish, and it’s much easier on your budget.

7. Pick an emerald cut diamond

Emerald cuts tend to have fewer facets – those surfaces that reflect light, making the diamond sparkle. While emerald cuts won’t be as shiny, the shape does allow the stone to cover greater surface area than other cuts with the same carat weight. Also, emerald cuts are timeless in style.

8. Buy a set

If you want to make the engagement a surprise, this may not work, but if, as a couple, you decide to research and shop for the rings together, you may just score a deal if you buy the wedding band and engagement ring as a set. You may even be able to get the groom’s wedding band at the same time for even greater savings.

With these tips, you can find a beautiful ring and save money to spend on the wedding and honeymoon!

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