Women will pay a lot of money for products that help them look good. How much? Well, skin care company SK-II makes a facial "reviver" cream that costs $350 for a1.6 oz. bottle. That's more per ounce than high-end Osetra caviar.
But beauty products don't need to be expensive. In fact, some of the best, all-natural beauty products and treatments are dirt cheap. Read on to discover 11 ways to look great for less.
1. Moisturize in your kitchen. Many of us try to buy all-natural beauty products - and how much more "all natural" can you get than fresh produce? Try mashing up a banana and using it as a facial mask (leave it on for 10 to 20 minutes). Mix two-parts mashed avocado with one-part water, and use it as a deep-conditioning hair treatment. Or apply coconut oil in place of your regular skin moisturizer.
2. Eat fatty acids. According to a study by the Institute of Experimental Dermatology in Germany, women who took flaxseed-oil supplements reported moister skin. The key is the fatty acids, which can also be found in salmon, walnuts and olive oil. Try putting some flaxseeds or walnuts in your morning oatmeal, making your own salad dressing with olive oil or eating salmon once a week.
3. Use every bit of makeup. Is your mascara almost gone? Try running the closed tube under some warm water before applying, and you should be able to get a few more applications out of it. If you're down to the end of a tube of lipstick, use a lip brush to get the last bits out. In fact, consider using a lipstick brush regularly - it can help you use less lipstick overall.
4. Eat foods that clean your teeth. Many crispy, crunchy foods help clean your teeth while you eat them. Apples are always a great choice - they help keep the dentist, and doctor, away. Raw carrots and celery are also excellent picks.
5. Shampoo less. If you wash your hair every day, you're probably washing it too much. Not only are you wasting shampoo, but you're also making your hair look dry and tired. Washing less helps maintain your hair's natural oils, and it's especially good for curly hair, helping to eliminate frizz.
6. Layer your lipsticks. If you're itching for a new lipstick color but already have multiple tubes, try layering colors you have instead of buying new tubes. Feel like you don't know what colors work well together? Follow this advice from Cosmopolitan: "Combine brown and pink to make a sultry rose, red and purple for plum, and coral and red for fuchsia."
7. Give your hair a vinegar rinse. In addition to being a great glass and shower door cleaner, vinegar can also help restore shine to your hair. Simply coat your hair, leave the vinegar on for a few minutes and then rinse.
8. Do your nails right. Before you apply color, make sure your nails are clean and dry. If oils or moisture are present, the color won't stick to the nails properly. When applying your top coat, make sure you get the top edge, not just the front of the nail - that will make it much more difficult for the nail to chip and save you from reapplying extra coats.
9. Always wear sun protection. One way to avoid buying expensive rejuvenating creams? Stay out of the sun - it's what causes most of the wrinkles and age spots on our skin,. Consider a daily moisturizer that contains sunscreen. There are several affordable options available at the drug store or even some dollar stores.
10. Curl your lashes. The secret to great lashes isn't a special, pricey mascara - it's an inexpensive lash curler. Use a lash curler before and after applying mascara to increase the drama and definition of your lashes.
11. Make your own exfoliant. You can create a simple exfoliating sugar scrub by mixing a half cup of raw sugar with 1/4 cup of oil. If you like things a little more savory, you can replace the sugar with salt. Want it to be scented? Add a few drops of your favorite essential oil.
Meg Favreau is a senior editor for the personal finance blog Wise Bread, where you can find frugal ways to brighten your smile without going to the dentist.
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