Thursday, July 21, 2011

Get A Full-Body Makeover- For Less!

24 Head-to-Toe Bargain Beauty Tips

 By Rachel Fischer Spalding, via Lifescript

1) Seriously, use that sunscreen! 
Don’t take our word for it – ask the experts. “If you had to pick just one product to make yourself more beautiful, it would be sunscreen,” says Beverly Hills dermatologist Debra Luftman, M.D., author of The Beauty Prescription (McGraw-Hill, 2008).

Look for a broad spectrum lotion with at least SPF 15, Luftman says. “I like the chemical-free kind with ingredients like zinc and titanium – it doesn’t need to be expensive.”

2) Good skin comes in threes. You don’t need a ton of expensive lotions and potions. You really only need three, Luftman says: “A light exfoliant like a glycolic acid, an SPF that can go in your moisturizer, and in the evening, something therapeutic such as salicylic acid or Retinol to correct skin.”
No need to shell out the big bucks either; drugstore brands are fine, Luftman says.
3) Toss “vintage” makeup. You may think you’re saving money by keeping makeup until it runs out, but you’re actually lathering bacteria on your skin, Luftman says. Her recommendation: Dump it after six months.
4) Get glowy from the grocer. Some of the best skin treatments are found in health-food and grocery stores, says Los Angeles facialist Toni Ponzo.
“Jojoba [oil] is amazing to lubricate wrinkles,” Ponzo says. She also likes paprika, “a natural antioxidant that will create a natural flush and glow” on skin, and avocado oil, which “can be applied directly to the eye area like an eye cream, and it doesn’t have chemicals in it.”

5) A DIY facial Ponzo recommends this do-it-yourself scrub: Start with dead-sea salt from a natural health store and mix it with your regular cleanser. Then do a plain-yogurt facial applied on your skin for 15 minutes. Yogurt, which has lactic acid, breaks down dead tissue.
6) Laxative for your face? Facial steaming helps remove impurities from your skin. For a twist, try Ponzo’s at-home secret. “I use this herbal laxative called Swiss Kriss. It comes in flake form so you just add them to hot water and place your face over a steaming bowl.” Swiss Kriss is available at, and other online health retailers.
7) Splurge for beautiful brows. You can easily tweeze your eyebrows at home. But see a professional once in a while, just to get the shape started, advises style expert Christopher Hopkins, author of Staging Your Comeback: A Beauty Revival Guide (HCI), a makeover book for women over 45. “Many people just tweeze stray hairs here and there without learning how to create the perfect arch for their face shape,” Hopkins says. A professional gives you a blueprint to follow.

Nail It
Many women pride themselves on finding the cheapest manis and pedis. Yet in these recessionary times, even that can be an unaffordable indulgence. Keep your nails looking their best with these tips from celebrity manicurist Debbie Leavitt.
8) SOS for cut-rate cuticles. Cuticles keep your nail bed protected from germs and bacteria. For an at-home cuticle fix-it, Leavitt suggests using an orangewood stick with tissue or cotton wrapped at the tip. “I never recommend actually cutting the cuticle off.”
First, soak your cuticles, then gently push them back with cuticle softener around the base of your nail, “sort of scooping around to remove the dead skin,” Leavitt says. Nip off any loose ends that have come up. Gently trim any hangnails.
9) Hydrate with olive oil. Pricey products aren’t needed to moisturize your nails – a trip to the supermarket will do. “Olive oil is the best to hydrate the skin and nails,” Leavitt says. Simply massage it into the cuticles and your hands. You can also create a scrub – just add a couple tablespoons of sugar to the oil.

10) Bag ‘em, lady. Apply a thick coat of your favorite moisturizer, place your hand in plastic bags, and wrap with a hot towel. Relax for a few minutes and remove the bag.
11) Buff up. Winter’s chilly temps make it hard to keep nails peel-free. To fix, buff the problem areas carefully using a nail file with a fine grit. Also, keep your nails shorter − it’ll help prevent peeling.
12) The paraffin principle. Regular, at-home maintenance can only do so much. A paraffin treatment at a salon will soften skin and improve the appearance of aging hands, Leavitt says. One treatment can last the entire season.
Making tiny tweaks to your beauty routine will boost your confidence. “Let me tell you, you don’t have to have lots of money to look amazing,” Hopkins says.

A Hair Change Ready for a more drastic change? You’re not alone. In the first half of the year, “clients often request new cuts,” says celebrity hairstylist Mitch Stone of the Cloutier Agency in Los Angeles, whose clients have included Kim Basinger, Kristin Davis and Kyra Sedgwick.
13) Go glam with a trendy ‘do. Getting rid of length can be refreshing, Stone says. What do you have to lose? “You don’t like it, you’ll grow it… but at least you won’t be bored.”

Hollywood’s hottest look is the retro, above-the-shoulders bob, as seen on Katie Holmes. But before you do anything, show your stylist a picture of a cut you’re eyeing and discuss how it can be adapted to suit your features.

14) Put some bang in your hair. Not ready for a bob? Cut your front layers into a face-framing fringe and you’ll have a whole new look! Bangs are a great refresher and take off 10 years, says Stone, whose styling work has been seen in magazines such as Vogue. They’re also cheaper than a whole new cut and style.
But “be careful of the short bangs rock stars and movie stars are wearing,” Stone says. “Not everybody can get away with it.” 
15) Color for the commitment-phobe. If a new cut scares you, go for color. Most cost-effective is a color wash or glaze – a one-time treatment that will boost your current color and add shine. To make more of a statement, though, consider switching shades.
“Go a little blonder now to beat the winter drab,” Stone says. “It’s a change that adds some spring to your step.”
16) Go back to school. If a professional stylist or colorist is too expensive, visit a well-known beauty school instead. More affordable than a salon, beauty schools offer many of the same services and students are carefully supervised by pros. Also, training academies like Paul Mitchell − The School in Los Angeles offer slashed price tags on updos for that big wedding or event.
Style It! Believe it or not, bad economic times bring out the inner beauty goddess in many women, says style expert Hopkins.
“In an economic crisis, the one thing you can control is how you look,” says Hopkins, whose work has been featured on HGTV and The Oprah Winfrey Show. We still care about our appearance even if we don’t have spare cash, which is why sales of lipstick (relatively cheap) go up in a recession.
“You can look updated on a budget,” Hopkins says. “You just have to get down to basics.”
17) It’s a cinch. Instead of trying to fill your closet with trendy items, update last year’s classics with a few accessories, such as gloves, a belt or bag.
“Find one new accessory that’s fabulous and current, such as a cinch belt,” Hopkins says. It will nip in your long winter sweaters at the waist and go with anything.
Stay current by buying those accessories in the season’s hottest shades. Hopkins’ favorite shades right now: winter white and purple.
18) Go for arm candy. If your budget allows just one accessory, splurge on a handbag, not shoes, Hopkins says. People will always notice a purse first.
“A mid-priced bag in alligator or patent leather with chain detailing” will look classy all season. But avoid those oversized hobo bags favored by celebrities – they add bulk to your figure.
19) The return of retro. Keep your credit card in your wallet and shop in your mother’s closet. What’s costume jewelry junk to her may be couture gold to you, especially with the return of the “statement necklace” − a large, obvious bauble worn over a simple outfit or layered with other necklaces.
“It can be made of anything from turquoise to bone, as long as it looks artistic,” Hopkins says. He advises hitting up the neighborhood Goodwill or vintage store for antique, eye-catching necklaces.
20) Rent your style. The Web site Avelle, formerly known as Bag, Borrow or Steal, lets you “borrow” pricey handbags, jewelry, sunglasses and accessories for a fee. Starting at $10 per month, you can sport a new Gucci, Prada or Coach tote. When you’re sick of it, trade it in for another!
The site earned instant fame after its mention in the Sex and the City movie.
“People are looking for new ways to shop,” says Becky Gebhardt, Avelle’s vice president of creative. “Renting gives access to luxury without the large expense of ownership.”
21) Send your shoes to rehab. Don’t run out to replace your favorite boots – you just may need to show them a little love. A good shoe repair place can work wonders: new heels, strap repair, scuff removal and more. Fixes can run as little as $6, depending on the damage.
22) Troll for sales no more. Clothing sales are everywhere, but how do you find what you want? Shop It to Me ( does the work for you. The site scours department store and retail Web sites for sales. Simply fill out a free profile with the clothing brands you like (such as Laundry, French Connection, Banana Republic, INC and more), and the site will email you an alert when those items go on sale. You save timeand money!
23) Support your girls. Make the clothes you own look better by investing in proper foundation garments – bras, panties and shapewear. Go to a department store or lingerie shop to get your measurements taken properly, Hopkins says. (You don’t have to purchase anything.)
“The right-sized bra and shapewear – which most women don’t have – will make you look like you’ve had lipo.”
24) Give your jewelry a dazzling dip. A recession doesn’t stop birthdays or anniversaries. When buying new jewelry is impossible, here’s a cheap alternative: rhodium dipping. Rhodium is a precious metal used to create white gold and to brighten up platinum. So turn your yellow gold into dazzling white gold with a relatively inexpensive ($50 and up) rhodium dip. It’ll look like a new piece of jewelry.

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