- Image by Jacklyn DL via Flickr
The art of being beautiful can be really taxing…and expensive. To get the most bang for your beauty buck, there are some things you absolutely must have in your cosmetics case.
Here are 5 essentials to streamline your beauty routine and tips to put them to good use.
- Inexpensive nail file: Available at drugstores, pharmacies and pretty much anywhere else you stop to pick up milk, inexpensive emery boards are a must-have for a quick and frugal manicure. Spring for a couple and keep them stashed around: in the glove box for when you’re stuck in the pick-up line at school, in the living room to use while you’re unwinding in front of Idol and in your desk at work. Bonus Tip: File nails in one direction at a time instead of sawing back and forth. Sawing can damage the nail and make it weaker.
- Petroleum jelly (such as Vaseline): A quintessential ingredient in anyone’s medicine cabinet or baby’s nursery, Vaseline is a savior—and it’s cheap! While other more expensive skin care creams and potions have merit, Vaseline does a great job of moisturizing even the toughest skin. Use it at night around your eyes and on your lips, as well as on elbows, hands, knees and heels for softening power to the nth degree. Bonus Tip: Slather jelly on hands right before bed, covering with a pair of cotton gloves to trap moisture inside. The same can be done on feet using cotton socks.
- Dryer sheets: For days when those fly-aways just can’t be tamed, look to your laundry room for a quick fix. Simply smooth a dryer sheet over your hair and watch the magic happen. An added bonus? Your locks will smell great! Bonus Tip: Try running a dryer sheet down your bare legs before putting on pants to combat the static cling that results from a dry work space’s artificial heating and air conditioning.
- Spray bottle of mineral water: A quick spritz of mineral water can do wonders for a lackluster complexion. For around a buck, you can grab an empty spray bottle (or simply reuse an old hairspray bottle that’s been rinsed well) and fill it with mineral water, available at grocers and big box stores everywhere. Mist on right over makeup whenever you need a pick-me-up and watch your whole face (and outlook!) brighten. Bonus Tip: Spritz the kids for a quick cool-off on a hot summer day.
- Fresh fruit and veggies: Okay, so they won’t fit into your cosmetics case, but a healthy diet full of nature’s goodies is one of the most essential beauty tricks out there. Feeding your body well from the inside out has the wonderful side effects of healthy hair, glowing skin and shining eyes. Eat enough of the good stuff, and you might even curb your need to buy Xenical, too. Bonus Tip: By buying fresh fruits and veggies from farmer’s markets, you’re helping to support local growers. A feel-good situation all around.
While looking gorgeous is no simple feat (unless you’re, say, Heidi Klum) it needn’t consume your life. By incorporating these cheap and simple beauty essentials into your daily routine, you’ll be extra fabulous in no time.
Liberty Kontranowski is a freelance writer and blogger who’s covered everything from beauty to fashion to sex to celebs, parenting and more. She is a regular contributor to eDrugstore.md, a top-rated online drugstore.