|Frugal Café Site Search:|
Beauty Is As Beauty Does: Great Ways to Reduce Your Grooming and Beauty Aid Expenses | Cheap Beauty TipsBy Vicki McClure Davidson
Beauty products sure ain't cheap anymore. A single tube of waterproof mascara can cost more than a bag of groceries these days. Times are tough for those of us who aren't naturally gorgeous and rely on cosmetics to enhance attributes and to fix or hide flaws.
I remember back when the price of a bottle of nail polish was less than an hour of minimum wage work.
When Vaseline dabbed on the lips for a bit of shine and lubrication was respected, and a restful, bubbly bath was cheap-cheap-cheap. When washing your face wasn't a complicated, expensive science project.
When pinching your cheeks for a natural glow of color was the "in" thing to do, a frugal and fast way to appear to be in rosy health (OK, that one's not really true of my generation—I had several palettes of Cover Girl and Revlon powder blush and a Yardley gel shimmer cheek highlighter—but my mom's generation of cosmetic wearers did a lot of cheek-pinching to save money).
It's not just women who are cringing at the escalating costs. Many men are feeling the financial pinch with the high-rising cost of bronzers and other subtle grooming/beauty enhancers. When bills need to be paid and your supply of grooming products run low, difficult choices must be made to stay on budget.
Being broke, though, doesn't mean you can't look good nor have to delay paying your utility bills.
There are many ways to combat the high expense of grooming and beauty aid products. You can make your own skin treatments at home using common items and foods and stretch out how long they last. Reducing your outlay of cash to be able to buy things that are actually more important in the whole scheme of things—important things, like paying your rent. You can skimp on your daily usage to make them last longer.
Cheap (and free) beauty tips have been around for years... centuries, actually. During the era of Cleopatra in 4000 BC , the wearing of kohl eye liner was all the Egyptian rage for both men and women (and was made of ground lead sulfide, which it still is today).
Here are but a few frugal tips on "accentuating the positive" — cosmetics and skin care aids on the cheap:
Use your hair conditioner to shave your legs. It's much cheaper than shaving cream and leaves your legs amazingly smooth. If you didn't like a particular conditioner's effect on your hair, this is an easy, frugal way to use it up without wasting it.
Try a coffee facial the morning after a long, long night of socializing. Take some instant coffee and mix in enough witch hazel to make a paste. Apply it all over your face, avoiding your eyes. Ten minutes later, rinse it off. It draws the toxins out of your face and leaves skin soft and bright.
To extend the life of a cylinder of mascara, never pump the application wand up and down in the tube. This forces air into the tube, drying up the mascara much quicker. Instead, rotate the wand around and you will be able get mascara onto the applicator without shortening the life of the product. If the temperature in your home is on the chilly side, you can warm up the tube for easier applying. Put it between the palms of your hands and rub it for a few seconds to warm it up.
Thin apple slices rubbed onto oily skin will help in controlling oily shine.
Vaseline® or any other brand of petroleum jelly is effective for many dry skin needs. It's been around forever and is much cheaper than most store-bought creams. Use it sparingly on feet, elbows, lips, and face to see if it will alleviate your body's dryness as effectively as those pricey creams. Apply it in small amounts when your skin is moist, since Vaseline has no natural moisturizing properties. It acts instead as a sealant, trapping in moisture and preventing it from evaporating and drying the skin. Be sure to apply the petroleum jelly soon after washing your face or showering—within three to five minutes is best, before natural evaporation takes its toll.
Don't throw out an overripe banana. Instead, mix one mashed banana with honey and oatmeal for a healthy, non-chemical facial scrub.
According to some beauty experts, Pepto-Bismol is reportedly a great face mask for sensitive skin. Apply the pink medicine to the face, straight from the bottle with a cotton ball. Allow it to dry for a few minutes and then rinse it off with cool water. For those who have tried it, they say it's soothing and refreshing.
To naturally remove the patchy roughness of elbows, take a lemon and cut it into two halves. Dip your elbows into the lemon halves, find a comfortable position, and stay put for about 10 minutes. When done, rinse off the lemon juice and apply moisturizing lotion, Vaseline/petroleum jelly, or, if your skin has become irritated, some zinc oxide ointment. Repeat the process the next day if the results weren't sufficient. The acids in the lemon are a natural exfoliator, softening that rough elbow skin. Be aware that lemon juice can also dry the skin out, so be sure to moisturize afterward. Lemon also has natural bleaching capabilities that have been used for centuries. The skin on and around the elbows doesn't have any oil glands, so they tend to become dry and darken faster than the skin on other parts of our body. Don't ever apply lemons directly to the delicate skin of the face, as straight lemon will be too harsh.
Eliminate winter flakes of skin on your face. Apply a mashed papaya to your face and neck for 15 minutes, then rinse. The papaya will gently soften and exfoliate the skin.
You can make your own natural toothpaste with teeth whitening properties for mere pennies. Baking soda has bleaching properties that can gradually whiten teeth. Mix one part baking soda (about 1 teaspoon) and one part salt (another teaspoon) together. Add a small amount of water, blending it into the mixture so as to create a thick paste. Dip your toothbrush into the paste, getting an ample amount on the brush's bristles. Brush your teeth as you normally do (devote several minutes to brushing). Rinse when done (don't accidentally swallow the paste). Don't use this tooth whitening cleanser too often (once a day maximum), as it is rougher than store-bought toothpastes and can make gums sensitive or raw. After a week or so, decrease use to every other day. This baking soda/salt mixture will also gently remove plaque buildup. An added bonus is that baking soda is a naturally occurring substance in nature and won't harm the environment.
There are many inexpensive hair conditioners in your kitchen. Rice or cider vinegar (recommended for dark hair) or lemon juice (recommended for lighter-colored hair) work well to remove the hair-dulling residue of some shampoos and make hair soft and manageable. Apply about one-quarter cup of vinegar after shampooing, massage in with your fingertips, leave on hair for a minute or two, and then rinse. The lemon juice from two lemons (approximately one-quarter cup) can be applied to wet, clean hair. You can choose to rinse or leave it in, as lemon juice is a natural conditioner.
Cucumber is a natural and inexpensive cleanser. Mix the juice of one cucumber (you can whirl it up in a food processor or blender for a minute to liquefy it) with milk and use it instead of a cleanser on your face.
Prepare a rejuvenating mask by mixing a slice of fresh pumpkin with egg yolk and milk. Apply the mask to your face, letting it set for 30 minutes. Rinse to remove. It leaves skin glowing and fresh-looking.
Oatmeal is a cheap, natural exfoliator and has components that reduces and calms redness in the skin. Plain yogurt hydrates and helps rid your skin of impurities. Save money by making this easy, natural mask with the following basic ingredients: 2 T. oatmeal, 1 T. organic plain yogurt, and 1 tsp. warm honey. Pour the oats into a coffee grinder or food processor and grind to a fine powder (you can also use a mortar and pestle). Mix the oatmeal powder with the plain yogurt and honey in a small bowl. The honey helps thicken the mask. Apply the oatmeal mask with your fingertips to clean skin, using light circular motions. Let the mask sit for 15 minutes. Wipe off with a wet washcloth, which helps remove exfoliated cells. Finish up by rinsing.
To add inexpensive, stress-releasing aromatherapy to your bath, put into a little piece of cheesecloth a teaspoon or two of dried chamomile, lavender, rosemary, pine needles, and/or aniseed. Add a drop or two of sweet rose oil. Tie the cheesecloth snugly at the top and loop it over your bathtub faucet when you draw your bath. The room -- and the bathwater -- will be filled with the most fragrant, relaxing scents. When your bath is over, you can run the cheesecloth bag across your body to transfer more of the subtle, fresh fragrance.
When temperatures and humidity are soaring during the summer months, a dusting of talcum powder, oat flour, corn starch, or rice starch on your skin or a sprinkle in your closed-toe shoes will absorb excess moisture and make you feel instantly refreshed and more comfortable. If you don't have a spare powder puff, often the dollar stores have some in stock. A large face powder brush or a large-holed shaker bottle (check Goodwill or garage sales) can also be used.
Prolong the strength of your fragrances by storing them in dark, cool places. Contact with heat and sunlight will zap the aroma (and alter the oils in the fragrance) quickly and make them turn rancid.
Some female college students swear by this cheap method for attaining natural-looking red lips. Dab the cotton end of a Q-tip (i.e., cotton swab) into cherry-flavored Jell-O powder and apply to lips. Let it sit for five minutes, and lick it off. It reportedly stains your lips a natural, red color for a fraction of the cost of department store cosmetic lip products. Not only is it absolutely safe, but it tastes good, too!
For removing facial hair, apply a sticky paste of egg white blended with small amounts of sugar and corn flour. When it dries, gently peel it off. Repeat this three to four times a week.
Make a natural eye area soother and lower-lid depuffer with the following ingredients: 1/4 cup finely chopped cucumber, 2 pieces of gauze cloth (about 6 square inches each) or a thin towel, 2 chamomile tea bags, 2 wire twist ties, and 1 tsp. avocado oil (it can be found at health food stores). Spoon half the cucumber onto the center of each gauze cloth. Dunk the tea bags in warm water and place on top of the cloth. Gather the cloth's edges to creat a long pouch and keep it closed with the twist ties; squeeze out any excess water. Put the cloth pouch into the freezer and freeze for up to 1 hour. While in a reclining position, put the eye cloth compress across the eye area for about 10 minutes. The herb chamomile is a native of Europe, and was brought by early settlers to North America. Chamomile's main component, azulene, is very soothing and decreases puffiness of the skin and tissue surrounding the eye area.
Lemon rind, when mixed with powdered milk and almond meal, becomes a great and inexpensive homemade facial scrub. To create this natural facial scrub, mix one part lemon rind, one part powdered milk, and two parts almond meal. Add half a part lemon juice for that extra clean.
Frugal Café Blog Zone: Is It Worth It? Rising Cost of Cosmetics - Frugal Tips to Save Money & Look Great
Baking Soda... From Frugal Cleaner to Thrifty Freshener to Beauty Aid, So Many Cheap, Easy, & Effective Uses
Looking Great and Saving Money: Picking the Best, Most Attractive Eyeglass Frames for You
Frugal Café Blog Zone: Prom Wardrobe Shouldn't Break the Bank... HEB Prom Closet in Texas Is Helping Teens Look Great for Less
Spice It up with Cinnamon, It's Not Just for Desserts: Budget Recipes & the Miraculous Spice for Meats, Fruits, & Vegetables... and for Health
Frugal Café Blog Zone: Money to Burn: Tiger Woods’ Ex-Wife Elin Nordegren Demolishes $12.3 Million Mansion in Florida, Where’s the OWS Outrage? (video)
Frugal Café Blog Zone: Conspicuous Consumption: Jennifer Aniston's $88,000 Hair Style Could've Paid off My Mortgage
Cheapskate Lifestyle: Thrift Store Shopping Exploding As People Rediscover the Savings & Joys of Second-Hand Bargains
Beauty DIY: Homemade Body Scrubs
Online Fashion Price Comparison: Save and Look Fab
Fabulous Fashion Finds and Ensembles at I'm Not Obsessed!
We're Smitten with "Bitten": Sarah Jessica Parker's War on Expensive Fashion Designs
Designer Fashion Accessories for Less: Fashion Rentals
Potluck Fashion Party, with Rachael Ray