Whether you want to look good or just to feel better, reaching your goal traditionally comes at a significant cost. But not if you’re a dedicated cheapskate. While medications and beauty products you use must be safe, there’s no reason that you have to pay exorbitant prices to ensure such qualify. Here are some fascinating and functional tips for saving time and stretching costs on everything from deodorant to skin care and more.


VISIT THE MEN’S DEPARTMENT. Buy mens toiletries if you have a choice when it comes to unscented deodorant, shaving foam and hair colorings, for example. Products manufactured specifically for men are significantly cheaper ounce for ounce than those made for women. Go figure.

SHAMPOO. With great confidence you can confidently stop being a shampoo snob. In a Consumer Reports test of 132 name-brand shampoos, the lowly cheap brands from the supermarket rated just as highly as the pricey salon brands. Just make sure you know how to read the product’s list of ingredients.

SUNLESS TAN. Smooth baby oil on skin and allow it to penetrate before applying sunless tanning lotion to achieve a more even, lighter tanning effect, especially on elbows and feet.

HAIR DYE ALTERNATIVE. Sounds wacky, but bear with me here. As a color pick-up for drab brown hair, rinse it with warm strong, stale coffee. Rinse with cool water.

HAIR CONDITIONER. Slather mayonnaise liberally on your hair. Wrap your hair in plastic wrap or a small plastic bag and heat with a hair dryer. Leave on for 30 minutes. Shampoo and rinse well. This beauty secret is brought to you compliments of a professional cosmetologist’s collection of secret bag of tricks. .

MAKEUP REMOVER. You can continue to spend big bucks for brand-name pricey make-up removers, or you can save a bundle and use baby wipes. They’re made for sensitive skin and won’t cause dryness or irritation.

MAKEUP PRIMER. My new primer is not actually sold as a makeup product, but it is an amazing gel that doubles as a fabulous face primer. You have to trust me on this–I would not lead you astray. Monistat Chafing Powder Gel is outstanding for this use and outperforms any primer I know of.

LIPSTICK PALETTE. Don’t waste the last half-inch of lipstick in the tube. Do what professional makeup artists do. Using an orange stick or other clean implement, transfer all of the product from the bottom of the lipstick tube into one compartment of a compartmentalized pill organizer (the kind with a little compartment for each day of the week, available at the drugstore for less than $2). Use a lipstick brush to apply. As you accumulate other colors, fill the rest of the compartments and soon you will have a portable make-up palette.

FACE-LIFT. Here’s how to give yourself an instant “face-lift” and beauty treatment: Mix one teaspoon each of baking soda and olive oil to form a slightly thick paste. Gently massage it into your skin, rinse well and then pat dry.

EARRING BACK REPLACEMENT. If you lose the back piece of a pierced earring, cut the eraser from a pencil and insert it on the post for a temporary fix.

FACIAL IN A TUBE. Use Preparation H to firm small wrinkles and fine facial lines. It sounds gross at first, but think about it: The product shrinks delicate tissue. This really does work very well, but use it advisedly after reading the cautions on the label. Then try not to think about the rest.

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