Monday, 03 June 2013 05:07

Health | DIY Natural Face Masks

Health // June 3, 2013

Summertime is fast approaching, and although we are super excited about debuting our new short shorts and fancy sandals, the extra heat and sun can do extreme damage to our skin. Instead of shelling out top dollar for high-end cosmetics, here are some of the best DIY beauty face masks to treat blemishes, moisturize and keep your skin soft, smooth and radiant all summer long.

1. Honey Yogurt Face Mask

Made with a combination of plain yogurt, honey and cucumber, this mask is perfect for all skin types and will help moisturize, reduce pores, clear out bacteria and soothe skin.


½ tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon plain yogurt
1 teaspoon cucumber pulp

To make the honey easier to stir, warm it in the microwave, about 10 seconds. Peel the cucumber and grate with a fine holed cheese grater to create the cucumber pulp. Combine with the honey, add the yogurt and apply as is, or chill if you prefer a cold mask. Add slices of cucumber on eyes for extra soothing and let mask sit 15-20 minutes before rinsing off.

2. Oatmeal Banana Face Mask

This mask is good enough to eat and is also great for your skin. Made with a combination of oatmeal, honey, egg white and banana, this mask is full of nutritious ingredients. Honey is one of our favorite natural ingredients to use in a mask because it has antibacterial properties and retains moisture. Bananas are full of potassium and naturally moisturize skin. The oatmeal acts as a natural exfoliant, removing dirt and dead skin cells, and the egg white helps tighten and brighten skin.


½ ripe banana
1 egg white
1 teaspoon of honey
½ cup of cooked or raw oats

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To prepare, cook or add your raw oats to egg white and mash banana and honey. Stir until all are well combined. Wash face thoroughly and add mask. Let sit 15-20 minutes until dried.

3. Chocolate Avocado Face Mask

This mask combines two of our all time favorite ingredients: chocolate and avocado. The avocado has tons of moisturizing vitamin E and the caffeine in chocolate acts as a natural skin tightener and reduces puffiness and inflammation.


2 tablespoons avocado
1 heaping tablespoon cocoa powder
1 teaspoon coconut milk
1 teaspoon coconut oil
1 teaspoon plain yogurt

Mash avocado until pureed and add the other ingredients. Whisk until mixture is smooth and thick. Using fingers or a brush, rub onto face, paying special attention to areas that need extra moisture and that are red or inflamed, such as under the eyes and chin. Let sit 10-15 minutes.

I really love the masks with moisturizing agents like yogurt or avocado, since my skin tends to dry out in the summer. I also love the effects of the egg white in the Oatmeal Banana Face mask since it works wonders on brightening skin tone and fading blemishes like acne scars. So instead of going to the spa and straining your wallet, head to the kitchen and whip up some fabulous all-natural mask your skin will love.

What is your favorite DIY mask? Tweet us your thoughts @madewomanmag!

Published in Health
Monday, 05 November 2012 03:42

Made Woman of the Month | Liz Norris

Made Woman of the Month // November 5, 2012

You can’t ever say enough about busy entrepreneurs. They juggle their professional and personal lives and (if they are any good at it) become successful. Usually it’s thoughts of self-sufficiency and dollar signs that get these go-getters through the hectic days and sleepless nights. But for Made Woman Liz Norris, there are other things that keep her going.

Liz makes her living as an esthetician. She owns her own salon in Burbank, California and spends her days doing facials and beauty treatments for women from all around LA. She specializes in everything from waxes to lash tinting and prides herself on not only running a professional business but also treating her customers as friends. Liz got into the beauty business because she wanted to help other women feel good about themselves.  “I grew up with acne, and I thought if I could fix my own skin, I could help other people fix theirs.”

Liz in her salon, Vanity Private Studio.

Liz got her start working for others, first in a medical spa and then in various salons. It took some persuasion from a friend and a leap of faith to decide that she would be better off working for herself, and in 2004 Vanity Private Studio was born: “I wanted the freedom to dress how I wanted and make my own schedule…it was the best thing for me.” Today Liz’s venture is a success, and was even voted one of the Best Bikini Waxes in Los Angeles by Her client list of over 1200 people continues to grow each week..and it includes yours truly. I trust my eyebrows to nobody other than her! (I have been going to her for 9 years!)

You would think it would be enough to start a successful business and achieve your dream. But after she found success in the beauty industry, Liz found her true passion in caring for animals. When Liz isn’t working in her salon, she is home in Santa Clarita on her 45-acre ranch where she has rescued over 70 animals! 6 horses, 2 donkeys, 4 dogs, 2 cats, 2 rabbits, over 40 chickens, 11 ducks, multiple turtles, a tortoise...the list goes on.

Liz’s selflessness and love for animals is unlike anything I’ve seen before. When I asked her why she felt the need to help so many she said, “[Animals] are helpless. Most people can get jobs and find ways to support themselves. They are at our mercy; they have no control over their life at all... I want to do anything I can to help them.”  And help them she does. Most of her time and money goes into supporting and caring for these animals.

While she has no formal training, Liz says she is becoming “quite the vet” after taking care of so many animals on her own. Her duties can range from nursing a rooster with a respiratory infection to hatching chickens, to dealing with injuries and administering medication. When she doesn’t know what to do she finds her answers through research and Google.  “Thank God for the internet,” she says.Liz, post accident, tends to her horses.

Not long ago, Liz faced a serious injury from a horseback riding accident that left her in a wheelchair.  You’d think that would have slowed her efforts down, but it didn’t. She would wheel herself around picking up bails of hay, balancing them on her lap in order to feed her horses. Every morning she would take her walker to the chicken coup to make sure the birds had food when she could hardly get around herself: “I thought of it as forced physical therapy,” she says.

Now fully recovered, Liz’s normal workday starts at 7am and doesn’t end until 1am. She has a 50-minute drive to and from her salon and before she can leave she has to make sure all of her animals are fed and cared for every day. As I mentioned before, I have been going to Liz for 9 years and I haven’t once heard her complain about it being too much. She truly loves what she does and it’s inspirational to see how one person can take care of so many things and still wake up ready to do it again the next day!

So what’s this Made Woman’s five year plan?  She says she would love to have a place where people can come on the weekends, bring their kids and spend time with the animals. She still wants to run her salon, of course, because she likes the balance of being able to make people feel good about themselves and then coming home to her peaceful ranch and her animals. For Liz, finding success meant becoming her own boss but her true mission in life is to help animals in need.

Published in Business

July 2, 2012

Smooth, soft, healthy skin. We all want it. And hopefully we are exfoliating, cleansing, protecting and moisturizing our way there. But there’s another important part of our skincare regimen that we often neglect: eating right. What you eat can directly affect the shape your skin is in. Learn to love these foods in order to put your best face forward:

Water: OK, so it’s not a food, but it is an essential ingredient for healthy skin.  Water keeps you hydrated so that you stay moisturized from the inside out! 

Papayas: Not just yummy, but also good for flavonoids, carotene and vitamin C.

Kiwi: Kiwi is a good snack when you are on the go, and it contains  --you guessed it-- vitamin C.

Oysters: This shellfish contains zinc, which helps with skin renewal. Soft and luscious skin – now that’s an aphrodisiac. 

Avocado: This versatile miracle food can be incorporated into any meal or eaten by itself. With essential oils, B complex vitamins, and niacin (an anti-inflammatory), this creamy green fruit is a miracle indeed. 

Mangoes: With 80% vitamin A (which repairs skin cells) as well as antioxidants for free radicals, mangos are irresistible. 

Almonds: Great for snacking on their own or as a topping for anything from salads to ice cream, almonds contain vitamin E and help to moisturize skin. Almond milk is also an excellent substitute. 

Cottage cheese: Full of selenium and vitamin E, cottage cheese helps prevents dandruff and provides calcium. Who would have guessed! 

Acerola cherries: Summer is cherry season, so stock up on these superfruits, which are made up of 100% vitamin C and produce collagen. 

Mushrooms: Did you know mushrooms have healing benefits?  They have riboflavins that help with tissue maintenance and repairs (especially after surgery). While grilling this summer, remember to add mushrooms to meats and burgers or grill some Portobellos on there.

Dark chocolate: Is there anything chocolate can’t fix? Dark chocolate contains flavonoids and helps with blood flow. But good luck on stopping after just one serving…  

Green tea: You might want to consider replacing your coffee addiction with green tea. This tea contains EGCG and acts as an anti-inflammatory. Combine those benefits with the added bonus of caffeine and you’ve got the recipe for an energized and healthy day. 

Strawberry, citrus, red pepper and broccoli: All of these fruits and vegetables have vitamin C and help with collagen. Throw them on a salad or bring them to work for snacking on their own.

Squash, sweet potatoes and spinach: These side dishes contain vitamin A and beta-carotene, which make for smooth skin.

Fortified cereal, lean meat, pork and poultry: Each of these foods contains zinc and iron that help skin glow. Breakfast, lunch and dinner made easy!

Try to incorporate as many of these foods as possible into your meals. All of them serve dual purposes: not only are they good for your skin, but they are healthy too. If you need some inspiration, check out Pinterest to look up and create healthy recipes using these ingredients. Your skin will thank you!

Published in Health