Monday, October 13, 2014

Beauty and the No-Beast Budget

Skincare

- To make a fabulous exfoliant, mix a pinch of baking soda or sugar with a drop of cleanser

- Money literally goes down the drain with liquid soaps. A small squirt does the job. I use a pricey anti-aging facial cleanser that recommends two pumps per use. But a half-pump works great. While the initial cost is high, I only purchase the product twice yearly.

- Someone in your household treating that pump like an exercise machine? Dilute liquid soaps with water.

- Keep expensive products away from general use. Give kids basic soap. Your pricey cleanser's not a toy. Tuck it in a drawer.

- Stretch moisturizers. I buy a higher-end product but find I only need half what's recommended. It works great and lasts months.

- Extra virgin olive and coconut oils make great natural moisturizers and makeup removers.

- Buy natural cosmetics containing vitamin C, ALA, and DMAE at online vitamin discount suppliers.

- Drink lots of filtered water to hydrate skin.

- Keep sugar for the exfoliants and not consumption. It causes blemishes and wrinkles.

Hair

- Save on haircuts and color without changing hairdressers. Book appointments less frequently. A nice, dollar-store barrette, drop of gel or ponytail holder can style extra miles into that cut.

- Don't rule out beauty academies. Do choose schools that only allow students to work supervised. The instructor leaves while you're being cut? You leave too. Some of the best haircuts I've seen came from beauty schools, for under $10.

- I'd use a school if I hadn't learned to cut my hair online for free. Type "cut your own hair" in your browser, and save hundreds of dollars a year. Works especially well for medium to long hair.

- Color your own roots or have them done at the beauty school.

- If you're a redhead or brunette, color with henna. It's non-toxic, covers gray, conditions, looks natural, and costs me about $30 a year. If currently using chemical colorants, read about henna first to avoid mishaps when applying to colored hair.

- Blend top-of-the-line shampoos and conditioners with economical brands. Start with a half-and-half mixture. Experiment with ratios to find how much of that expensive stuff you really require.

- Or use store brand shampoo, but chase it with high quality conditioner.

Makeup

- Try no-risk makeup. Rite-Aid's and Walgreen's makeup guarantees are for real. Try new cosmetics, and if you dislike them, the store issues no-questions-asked refunds. So keep that receipt. Some discount department stores will match this policy, so call ahead, ask and avoid wasting money on makeup you won't use.

- For sanitary reasons, experts recommend replacing makeup every three to six months. But, you can avoid throw-aways and stay safe. Before using your new foundation, pour half into an empty vitamin bottle or small container and refrigerate. Stretch eye shadows and powders by breaking them up and storing likewise.

Additional Tips

- Never pay retail. Shop big box and salvage/surplus stores for familiar cosmetics you know you'll use.
- Eliminate tanning salon fees. Consider purchasing a sunlamp.
- A wet towel drying in the bedroom at night keeps skin moist.
- Buy nail files, clippers and tweezers at the dollar store.