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How to use your dinner leftovers for DIY beauty

Nina Sutton is a beauty and style expert and on-camera host. She is also the author of the The Chic Moms Guide to Feeling Fabulous. Nina has appeared on shows such as The Doctors, E! Fashion Police, Oprah Winfrey Network, The Ricki Lake ...

A recipe for gorgeous skin and hair

Cooking and beauty treatments are very similar — both involve a series of ingredients mixed together that benefit our bodies inside and out. If you're craving natural beauty ingredients, use these leftovers to pamper yourself from head to toe.
Try this sample menu!
Woman with cucumbers on eyes

Start your meal with a healthy salad

Super spinach

In a large salad bowl, toss antioxidant-rich spinach with cucumber slices, tomato wedges, shredded carrots and avocado. Top with a drizzle of olive oil and balsamic vinaigrette.

Beauty treatments

avocado

Do you have leftover avocado? Make a deep conditioning hair mask by adding one tablespoon of olive oil to mashed avocado. Avocados are extremely moisturizing and the extra boost of olive oil makes this a power treatment.

Do you have extra cucumber slices? De-puff your eyes and face! Place slices on your eyes to soothe and de-puff. You can also put extra cucumber into a blender and blend until smooth. Apply all over your face for a soothing face mask.

Do you have leftover carrots? Make an anti-aging hand mask! Carrots are full of vitamins and carotene, an antioxidant that can help fight free radicals while the olive oil hydrates for younger looking skin. All you have to do is grind one carrot and mix in one teaspoon of olive oil. Slather on your hands for five minutes and rinse off!

Now for the main course

Easy breaded chicken and roasted lemon potatoes

To make the easy breaded chicken, you will need 4 chicken breast cutlets, flour, 4 egg whites, seasoned breadcrumbs (about 1 to 1-1/2 cups) and olive oil. First, dip the chicken into the flour, next the egg white and finally dip into the breadcrumbs. Place on a well-oiled baking sheet and bake at 375 degrees F for 6 to 8 minutes per side.

To make roasted lemon parsley potatoes, cut 1 pound of red potatoes into wedges. Toss with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt and 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 30 to 40 minutes at 425 degrees F. Pull out of oven and squeeze the juice from a small lemon over the potatoes and bake for 3 to 4 more minutes. Remove from the oven and toss with 2 tablespoons of fresh chopped parsley.

Beauty treatments

eggDo you have leftover eggs, lemons and potatoes? Make a firming, brightening face mask! Eggs are full of vitamins and proteins that can firm and tighten the skin.

Potatoes are high in nutrients, especially vitamin C. Lemon juice is a natural source of alpha-hydroxy acids, which can brighten and detoxify the skin. To make this mask, finely grate one potato, add in one egg (beaten) and juice of half a lemon. Mix well and spread a thin layer on your face, avoiding the eye area. Lie down for 10 minutes and rinse off! This mask is full of nutrients to refresh, nourish and brighten your skin.

Do you have leftover parsley? Make a brightening eye mask! Parsley is high in vitamin K, which is found in many under eye treatments. Vitamin K, when applied directly to the skin, helps to reduce blood flow, therefore reducing the appearance of dark circles under the eyes. To make this eye mask, place a handful of parsley into a blender and blend until a smooth paste. Apply directly under your eyes, lie down and rinse off in 10 to 15 minutes.

Do you have leftover sea salt? Make a beach hair spray! Combine two teaspoons of sea salt with eight ounces of warm water and a dab of hair gel. Put in a clean spray bottle and shake well!

Don't forget dessert

Strawberries and cream and after-dinner coffee

To make an easy strawberries and cream dessert, start by cutting 3 cups of strawberries into halves. Next, whip 2 cups of heavy whipping cream, as it firms up, add in 2 tablespoons of white sugar and 1 teaspoon of vanilla. Place berries into dessert cups and top with the whipped cream!

Beauty treatments

strawberryDo you have leftover strawberries and un-whipped heavy cream? Make a glowing face mask by first mashing three strawberries with a fork. Next, add two tablespoons of the heavy cream. The heavy cream contains elastin to plump up the skin as it moisturizes. Strawberries are rich in salicylic acid, which is a natural exfoliator. The combination as a face mask creates a glowing, soft complexion!

Do you have leftover sugar? Make an exfoliating body scrub by mixing two tablespoons of sugar with one tablespoon of olive oil. Use in the shower for super soft skin!

Do you have leftover coffee grounds? Make a cellulite treatment! Most cellulite creams contain caffeine, which helps to stimulate blood flow to the area, therefore helping to flush out toxins and smooth out the skin. To make your cellulite wrap, combine 1/2 cup of fresh brewed coffee grounds with one tablespoon of olive oil. Spread on tummy, hips and thighs. Next, wrap the areas tightly with plastic wrap (that you will use to store your dinner leftovers!) to seal in the grounds. Leave on for 10 minutes and hop into the shower to rinse off.

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