A few years ago, I moved into my own apartment. It was less than a month after graduating high school, and I found myself in a rinky-dink studio apartment with absolutely no money after rent for anything more than Ramen noodles, Pop-Tarts and Wendy's. I couldn't have been happier. However, you can imagine what a diet like that did to my health, and without money for the fancy lotions and potions I was used to pampering my skin with, I had to learn how to make due with what I had. Luckily for me, what I had was a corner store, a few dollars, and the Internet. With these simple tools, you too can build your own beauty regime for pennies! (/commercial)
My absolute beauty stand-by is, to this day, baking soda. For about $0.89 USD, you can buy a few months' worth, depending on what you use it for, and it does almost anything. Anything I need done, I use baking soda first, and if it doesn't work, I proceed from there. Usually, it works. I exfoliate my face with a tablespoon of baking soda mixed with about a teaspoon of water; I gently rub the paste in circles over my face and neck, then rinse. I follow it up with diluted apple cider vinegar as a toner, and my skin has never been softer. My hair is another thing I turn to baking soda for: normal shampoos are not only expensive, but they can also be bad for your hair because they strip natural, healthy oils as well as grease from your hair. Baking Soda, on the other hand, simply dries the grease from the outside of the follicle without penetrating through it and removing the good stuff. I use a tablespoon of baking soda to about a cup of water as shampoo, and the same concentration of vinegar to water for conditioner - if you have very dry hair or get very greasy, you should look into the No Poo method, as it's called! It also helps preserve your dye job, if you roll like that. No time to shower before dashing out the door? I run some dry baking soda through my hair at the roots, and it dries up the grease and keeps it looking nice until I can shower when I get home. It's also a natural deodorizer, so you can use it in place of deodorant if you have sensitive skin.
A few more tips:
- Have a zit? Cut a clove of garlic in half and rub the cut side on it. Garlic is a natural astringent, so it will drastically reduce redness of new pimples that haven't formed a head yet. If that garlic won't work (say you can't stand the smell, or the zit has already popped), hold an ice cube on it for as long as you can before you go to bed at night. This will soothe the inflammation and the blemish will be noticeably less red by the next morning.
- If you have bags under your eyes, cucumbers are not an urban legend! However, if you want something stronger, put two spoons or used black teabags in the fridge the night before, and place them on your eyes for as long as you can manage. The chemicals in tea are naturally healing, but the cooling affect is really the star here, so metal spoons work too.
- For another great homemade exfoliator, mix one part kosher salt or sugar with two parts olive oil, or use this great aspirin face rub.
- Lemon juice can be used to strengthen nails and give them a natural shine. Dip a Q-tip in fresh lemon juice and rub it onto your nails for a few minutes. Leave it on for about ten minutes. This can also lighten the white parts of your nail.
- After you're done brushing your teeth, gently brush your lips with the toothbrush. This exfoliates them which makes them smooth, can help with chapping, and makes lipstick stay on longer and brighter.
- Some foods that can be used to make great face masks are honey, yogurt, avocado, and oatmeal.
- Hot Oil treatments are great to add shine and softness to your hair. Take a few tablespoons of olive oil (the length of your hair will determine exactly how much you'll need), heat it in the microwave for a few seconds (it should be warm but not so hot that it burns you) and rub the hot oil through your hair. Cover with a plastic bag and leave on for as long as possible, preferably over night but at least thirty minutes. Then, the trick to washing it out is to rub shampoo into your hair before getting it wet. Oil and water are NOT friends, and so if you saturate the oil with shampoo before wetting your hair you'll have a much better time of it.
Also, yet another new layout! I know, I know, I made the last one like a month ago and there are blogs who don't change their layout for months or even years, but... they're just so much fun to make! I went with a sort of "room" theme for this one, with things that reminded me of a Victorian parlor (striped "wallpaper" with pictures in ornate frames and pretty chandeliers). Also, for the background, it was originally pink but I made it blue instead - if you made it and want credit for it anyway let me know! I lost my original source...