Sunday, September 7, 2008
Sunday's Cheapie Tips
Today's suggestions for cheaper beauty alternatives are (drumroll please)....
1. Makeup Remover - Okay, makeup remover pads are great, and they seem cheap... Almay's are, I believe, 80 pads for around $5 to $6. However, I've discovered that Pampers Baby Wipes work just as well. Yep. Baby wipes! Not kidding. You can get something like 200 sheets for $6. You can also buy mega-packs of 700 for about $25. Think about that - that will last you close to two years if you use 1 wipe per day! And the thing is, because this is something families use often, these wipes go on sale regularly, so they are often even less expensive than this. Last time I bought them, I got about 500 for $8 at Walgreens!
These wipes swipe off makeup quickly and easily. The Baby Fresh ones (I use these) smell great - but if you are very sensitive, they do make a sensitive skin version that's unscented. The large size of the wipe allows you to make multiple passes over the eye area with a clean part, which I find is really good when removing a heavier, smoky eye - those little pads fill quickly and tend to smear makeup all over the face if there's a lot to remove, but the baby wipe picks it all up and sweeps it away. (The wipes are so large that you can even cut them in half and double your investment, if you want.)
The one thing that baby wipes have trouble with is waterproof mascara. However, there is a quick and easy solution to that. Grab a Q-tip, go into your kitchen, and dip that tip into some olive oil. Now, swipe the oil lightly over your lashes, wait a few seconds to let it penetrate the coats of mascara, and then use your baby wipe to clean up. Crisis averted! That's because, while the ingredients that make your mascara waterproof are insoluble in water, they ARE soluble in oil.
2. Lip Exfoliant - For those of us with super dry, flaky lips, exfoliation can really help. A lot of companies sell special lip exfoliants - I know that MAC sells a stick version, and Smashbox sells a small tube of creamy exfoliant for an investment of just... 18 bucks. Yikes!!! Yes, it has all sorts of good-for-you ingredients in it, but I really cannot bring myself to shell out such a crazy price for a product that is so .... easy to make at home.
After trying the other at-home methods (rub with a soft toothbrush or a washcloth) and finding that my lips were very irritated and sore afterwards, I decided to make something more soothing. Here's the recipe:
Pour small amount of grapeseed oil into container. Add sugar until texture is thick enough to spread on lips, but not so thick with crystals that it will be irritating. Smooth mixture on lips. Let oil penetrate for a few minutes. Then, rub gently all over lips so that the sugar crystals will exfoliate your lips. Rinse off. If desired, allow a thin film of grapeseed oil to remain on lips (I do this), since grapeseed oil has been used for centuries as a moisturizer. It penetrates into skin better than other oils.
That's it! You can get grapeseed oil as well as other types of oils (jojoba, etc) at a store like Whole Foods or another natural product/health food store. A small bottle is usually about $4, and will last you a long, long time. I've had mine for six months and I've only used 1/4 of it. Grapeseed oil is, as mentioned, a great moisturizer and is loaded with antioxidants. If you like, you can put some essential oils in your grapeseed oil and use it as a body moisturizer. If you want to use this scented stuff on your lips, make sure that the essential oil is okay to use around the lips first. Anyway, you know where to get sugar, of course.
Oh, and guess what? Take a look at the ingredients on Smashbox's Emulsion Lip Exfoliant - grapeseed and jojoba oil are two major ingredients. So there!
3. Lash Primer - JUST SAY NO. These days, big, thick lashes are IT, and lash priming products are everywhere. These things supposedly coat the lashes and prepare them for mascara, resulting in longer, fatter lashes that last well into that late-night party. Again, I know that MAC makes one, and so does Smashbox. I had the opportunity to try the Smashbox primer when I got a free sample of it. Know where that thing is now? In a dump somewhere. When I put the Smashbox primer on my lashes, it didn't coat much...it just left white clumps in random places on the lashes. And when I went and put mascara on anyway, you can imagine the result.
So maybe other primers work better than that, but my feeling is they are really unnecessary. What I've found to be the best lash primer is my translucent finishing powder. When I am dusting on my powder after finishing foundation application, I dust the powder over closed lids and lashes in addition to the face. The finishing powder clings to the lashes and coats them evenly, giving my mascara something to stick to without spending any extra dough.
And the other thing you can do is go to the drugstore or go online, and get a pair of Ardell false lashes for $3.49. Some Ardell styles look super natural yet long and thick -- I've got a few I use to play up lashes, and after a few practice attempts, they are super easy to put on.
And that's all folks... you can look forward to more cheapie tips every Sunday!!