Budget beautistas, gather round! It's understood that even when you're trying to be frugal with your funds, looking good is not to be sacrificed. So we've scoured our makeup bags, bathrooms, and even our kitchens to find you the most innovative beauty tricks so you can keep your money in your pocket.
1. Highlight at Home
For pretty, subtle highlights, use a highlighting cap, which comfortably self-seals around the base of the scalp and comes with a rounded steel tool to pull strands to be lightened through the pinholes. This gives you control over how many (or few) hairs you highlight.
2. Buy Time for Your New Hue
A lot of women spend major cash getting their roots touched up once a month, but the Clairol Root Touch-Up Kit can achieve the needed in-between visit results in the (inexpensive) comfort of your own home. In just seconds you can mix the formula, apply, wait 10 minutes, rinse, dry, and reschedule your salon appointment for three weeks later than usual.
3. Combine to Save
Are you one of those people that has several bottles of half-full conditioner in your shower? There's nothing wrong with these formulas per se, but none of them qualify for the 'good to the last drop' category? Instead of tossing them in the garbage, squeeze all of the conditioners into one big bottle to create a 'superconditioner.'
4. Pay for Polish Changes Only
If you're squeamish about having someone push back your cuticles or cutting your nails too short, try giving yourself an at-home manicure with this all-inclusive kit from Kiss. Skip buying your own bottles of expensive nail lacquers and head to the salon for just a polish change - most charge under $10 to swap your color.
5. Conserve Your Product
Natalie DeStefano, makeup artist at the Rita Hazan Salon in NYC, recommends wetting your makeup sponge slightly before you dip it into your foundation. The dampness will cause the sponge to absorb less product, thus leaving more in the bottle.
6. Cut Your Own Bangs
Some salons charge $5 or less for a bang trim, but you can try to trim them at home if you're feeling daring. "For a blunt line, use straight shears," says Donna Zawislak, stylist and field education leader for Hair Cuttery.
7. Divide and Conquer
"I use Neutrogena makeup remover pads to remove my eye makeup at night. I cut them in half and keep them in a plastic bag, as half of one is plenty," says celebrity makeup artist Susan Posnick, who's worked with Cindy Crawford and Diane Lane. "I also find they are perfect when I am just too tired to do my usual night routine, like when I am traveling for personal appearances."
8. Pamper Parched Strands
Instead of shelling out $40 or $50 for a salon hair mask to rejuvenate dry hair, try an at-home avocado mask. All you'll need is a fully ripened avocado mixed in with one egg yolk and a teaspoon of olive oil. After stirring well, apply the mixture to your hair in sections and leave on for 30 minutes or so. Afterward, your hair will feel luscious and healthy.
9. Preserve Your Hair Color
Extend your hair color and keep it looking healthy and vibrant with this great tip from The Office star Angela Kinsey: "To make my hair color last longer, I wash my hair every other day. On the weekends I give it a break from heat styling and just put it in a ponytail. Once a month I use this deep conditioner. I apply it in the morning, slip on a shower cap, then do the laundry."
10. Run Damage Control on Your Blemishes
"If you feel a big blemish coming on, take an aspirin and make a paste of it with water," says Kinsey. "Apply it to the pimple before you go to bed and the next day the swelling will be gone."
11. Various Uses for Vaseline
Vaseline is another one of those mega-multiuse beauty tools. Use it as a lip balm, to soften heels, or as a makeup remover.
12. Big Beauty Bang for Your Buck
Eyes Lips Face (e.l.f.) may be one of our favorite brands for beauty on a budget. This palette comes with 48 eye shadow shades (yes 48!), a built-in mirror, and 1 dual-ended applicator, all for a price that is so good, it'll make you blush.
13. Make Your Own Extensions
No special hairdressing or sewing skills required for this one! All you need is a pack of wig clips, needle and thread, and packages of wefted human hair. "Many human-hair clip-ins will cost you more than $250," says Daneen Baird, editor in chief of SpoiledPretty.com. "But if you've got some time, you can make them yourself for $50-$75."
14. E.V.O.O. Everywhere
"Olive oil is actually my favorite beauty secret," says Real Beauty director Deanne Hess. "It's great for taking off makeup, calming frizzies in the summer, and moisturizing your skin. I keep a bottle in both my kitchen and bathroom."
15. Midday Oil Slick Fix
"I tend to always have a tissue toilet seat cover in my bag," says Hess. "You can rip off pieces and use them as blotting papers. The brown napkins from Starbucks work well too."
16. Squeeze More Swipes
Get a few more uses out of an almost-gone mascara by standing it in a glass of warm water or heating it up with a hair dryer.
17. Save Your Mascara Wand
Wash it thoroughly and use it to tame unruly eyebrow hairs or to separate and de-clump lashes. Oftentimes, great mascara application comes from the brush. If you aren't too keen on a newly purchased formula, use the wand from your tried-and-true to see if it makes a difference.
18. Make Your Own Exfoliating Body Scrub
Combine 1 cup coarse sea salt with 1/2 cup baby oil. Stir the ingredients together in a bowl and put into a screw-top jar. Leave for 24 hours, then stir the mixture and apply to any areas of the body you wish to smooth out. Massage into the skin for a few minutes, then shower off and pat your skin dry. (Makes multiple applications.)
19. Deodorize Your Kicks
Stinky soles can ruin a good pair of shoes, not to mention smell up a room whenever you kick them off. To get rid of odors, sprinkle some baking soda in your shoes and vacuum up before you slip your feet into them.
20. Use Coffee Grounds on Cellulite
Mix dry grounds with your body lotion and rub into your problem areas. This stimulates circulation, making it easier for trapped fat to surface and be broken down. Plus, the caffeine tightens skin. Leave this coffee-lotion combo on your skin for about 30 minutes, then wash off.
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Reprinted with permission of Hearst Communications, Inc.