Looking good doesn’t require trips to high-end department stores and salons. Vicky Oliver is the award-winning author of The Millionaire's Handbook: How to Look and Act Like a Millionaire, Even if You're Not. She covers a lot of budget-friendly ground!
Here’s what she has to say:
Beauty tips are as ancient as women looking in the mirror. And every culture has contributed sage advice to the frugalista beauty canon. For more pointers on saving money while you enjoy a luxe lifestyle, check out my book, The Millionaire's Handbook: How to Look and Act Like a Millionaire Even if You're Not.
Treat Your Hair to a Day at the Home Spa. Lavish your locks with a day of pampering worthy of an Aphrodite-in-the-making. But first, get thee to a grocery store and buy eggs. Take one egg yolk, whisk with a fork, and add one teaspoon of water to the mixture. Apply to damp hair. Gently massage into scalp. Be sure to rinse out the mixture with plenty of cool water. Or you can achieve high gloss from that egg-rich conditioner-in-a-jar: mayonnaise. For deep conditioning, don’t hold the mayo. Instead, take a half-cup of mayonnaise and comb it all the way through damp tresses. Let sit for fifteen minutes. Then wash out the mayo (thoroughly!) with your regular shampoo. Your hair will feel salon-conditioned without the salon prices.
Discover Your Own Scent of a Woman. The ancient Egyptians believed that perfumes could help one attain spiritual perfection. If someone gifts you with a fragrance too potent for your delicate olfactory bulbs, don’t automatically toss the perfume in the trash. Instead, add a few drops to your bathwater, which will dilute the scent. Then bathe in it. The scent may sit better with you that way, and you won’t be throwing away hundreds of dollars. Conduct your own private aromatherapy lab until you find the essence that enhances your wellbeing. Citrus-based bouquets may help promote happiness; rose extracts promote calm. A hint of bergamot relieves anxiety and stress. Soak away your troubles and drift into a divine mood.
Celebrate the Eyes of March. Modern-day Cleopatras needn’t roll themselves in a carpet to command attention. They just have to comb the aisles of their local drugstore to find mascara in an offbeat color. Better yet, they can create their own in a custom shade that will make their eyes look luminous.
To make it yourself, you will need the following materials (all available online): clear mascara, colored eye shadow that complements your eyes, a Q-tip, plus a clean mascara wand. Warning: if you have eye sensitivity or a tendency to bonk yourself in the eye with a mascara wand, this is not the beauty tip for you!
Place some clear mascara gel on a plate. Add some of your favorite eye shadow. Blend together with the Q-tip. Roll the clean mascara wand in the mixture. Apply. Unsure of which color mascara to create? Contrasting colors work best. Blue shadows and mascaras set off brown eyes; purple eye shadows and mascaras add drama to green eyes; and dark brown colors complement blue eyes. Experiment until you find the combination that makes people ask what you’ve been doing to look so goddess-like.
Give Yourself the World’s Cheapest Facelift. Don’t browbeat yourself if you’re not altogether thrilled at the prospect of taming your own brows. Chances are a Muse (otherwise known as an Eyebrow Specialist) is as close as your local Yellow Pages, and the results are akin to a mini facelift. Pay attention to what he does; ask intelligent questions; and then copy his handiwork when your brows start to bush out. Every brow surgeon needs her tools. In the right hands, a ruler, an eyebrow pencil, and sterilized tweezers can erase seven years on contact.
Drink Your Way to More Youthful Skin. Greek mythology posits that for a time Hebe, the goddess of youth, poured sweet nectar into the glasses of the gods living on Mount Olympus. Today, science puts more credence in the youth-giving properties of tea (both green and white). Some research suggests that drinking tea several times a day may help prevent certain skin cancers plus the breakdown of collagen, which causes wrinkles. Until the FDA confirms it, of course, it’s just delicious speculation. But a careful reading of the tea leaves reveals that drinking tea probably won’t hurt you and could really help forestall the ravages of Time.
In addition to her tips, I have found lots of high quality and inexpensive beauty options out there:
Gray Away Root Concealer is an easy, foolproof way to hide grays in a pinch in between coloring. The pinpoint applicator provides precise and even coverage. You’re good to go on short notice! (Available at grayaway.com)
Garnier Skincare has a couple of new additions. The Radiance Renewer Cleansing Gelee is a gentle foaming wash featuring citrus extracts and hydroxy acid. The Ultra-Lift Targeted Line Smoother is a tightener and cream combo that combats crow’s feet and smile lines. (Available at drugstores.)
COVERGIRL’s Outlast Stay Fabulous 3-in-1 Foundation just hit the shelves. The foundation sets the look like a primer, corrects imperfections like a concealer and perfects with a beautiful, matte finish. (Available at drugstores.)
ELF has a super affordable and extensive line of eyeshadow, blush, powder, lipstick, brushes, etc., in addition to funky products like their Mascara & Shadow Shield, Body Shimmer and Angled Eyeliner Brush. The Concealer Brush, a small, dense, rounded brush, can be used as a concealer brush, eyeshadow brush and a lipstick brush—all for $1.00! Their products are cruelty free and have the PETA stamp of approval. (Available at Target.)
Essie’s new leading lady collection features nail colors in bright shades like snap happy (coral), butler please (royal blue), and leading lady (deep red glitter). The new sleek sticks nail wraps come in fun patterns like don’t cheetah on me, croc ’n chic, and embrace the lace. (Available at essie.com.)
Maybelline has some newbies including Eye Studio Color Tattoo Metal. The popular cream gel shadow takes on metallic shades such as Inked In Pink, Gold Rush and Electric Blue. Color Whisper features translucent color with a bit of shine. The lip shades are available in twenty colors. (Available at drugstores.)
Physicians Formula’s new Shimmer Strips Custom Eye Enhancing Shadow & Liner Nude Collection takes a modern twist on classic nude shades. Add a bit of water for more intense color, or, to use as a liner, use dry for a softer result. Shimmer Strips Custom Eye Enhancing Liquid Metal Eyeliner Trio Universal Looks Collection features three highly pearlescent ultra-fine liquid metal eyeliners in black, pewter and silver. (Available at drugstores.)
Epsom Salt triggers memories of one’s grandparents’ medicine cabinet, but don’t forget it’s a popular natural choice for a variety of beauty treatments for all generations! Check out the uses, from homemade bath salts, to exfoliating, to a pedicure here: http://www.epsomsaltcouncil.org/beauty (Available at drugstores.)
Judith August’s The ERASEZIT Antiseptic Concealer Pencil is a favorite of Heidi Klum. The stick, which comes with a sharpener, covers blemishes and other flaws (even men use it to cover nicks from shaving). (Available at judithaugustcosmetics.com)
L’Oréal Paris just announced their 2013 launches and there are many! The Colour Caresse Shine Stain by Colour Riche is a lightweight lip stain with a high-shine finish. Colour Riche Eye Shadow Quads feature complimentary colors in both pearl and matte finishes. The Super Slim is a liquid eyeliner with a super slim 0.4mm precision felt tip for precise lines. Revitalift Miracle Blur Instant Skin Smoother Finishing Cream blurs away fine lines, wrinkles, and pores with SPF 30. The Age Perfect BB Cream Instant Radiance is specifically designed for mature skin with its anti-aging ingredients, a sheer tint of color, and SPF 20. They also expanded their Sublime Sun Collection. The Sublime Sheer Protect Oil comes in SPF of 15, 30, and 50+. The Sublime Sun Lotion is SPF 100. L’Oréal Paris is the makeup of choice for the cover of this month’s Allure magazine. Cover girl Carrie Underwood is wearing Infallible Eye Shadow in Bronzed Taupe, MagicSmooth Souffle blush in Cherubic, and Colour Riche lip liner in Beyond Pink. (Available at drugstores.)