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Top 10 Beauty on a Budget Tips

by Marge Maghoney

It would be awesome to go to the spa each week wouldn't it? Or get a hold of all the latest and greatest beauty products that seem to be popping out faster that you can save for.

Truth is, it really doesn't cost much to take care of yourself. All you really need are the basics and know what among the things you already have at home can be used for a DIY treatment.

To get you started, here are 10 tips for beauty on a budget.

1. Coconut oil & honey as a natural hot oil hair treatment.

Mix 2 tablespoons each of coconut oil and honey. Apply on damp hair. Massage onto scalp and spread all over hair. Tie hair in a bun. Dip a hand towel (big enough to wrap your hair in) in warm water. Squeeze out all excess water. Wrap hand towel on hair like a turban. Sit back, relax and leave on for 15-30 minutes. Rinse off with a small amount of shampoo and water. Do this once a week or every other week.

2. Do your own mani/pedi.

The average cost for a mani/pedi is $30. A bottle of polish? $5. And you have the rest of the bottle for several more uses. Of course you need other stuff like nail polish remover, cotton and a top coat but these are all hella cheap. So cheap that you can get all you need for $10 and they will all last for months. That's a third of a salon mani/pedi.

3. Pollident to whiten yellow nails.

If you're like me, you love changing up your nail polish. A different color each week. But your nails need a break. At some point, they'll start to change into a shade you're not too keen on. Yellow. Ugh. No need to get fancy nail whiteners. Remember, we're trying to stick with the basics or stuff you may already have. Check the medicine cabinet for some Pollident or any other brand of denture cleaning tablets. Pop one in a small bowl of water and let it dissolve completely. Dip your nails for about 10 minutes (more if they're really yellow or add another tablet) and watch it whiten right before your eyes. Cost, $0. If you don't have it on hand, a box of 120 tablets go for less that $6. That's less than a cent per use.

4. The frugal facial.

Boil or microwave enough water to fill a bowl. Place your head about a foot on top of the bowl and cover your head with a towel and let the steam open up your pores. Do this for about ten minutes. Now mash the leftover avocados from last night's burrito night and mix it with some honey. Apply evenly onto face and leave for about 15-20 minutes. This is perfect for any skin type and prevents wrinkles. Rinse with water (a little soap is optional).

5. The 2-ingredient foot spa.

Mix 1 tablespoon of coconut oil with half a cup of sugar. Gently scrub onto feet and leave for 10-15 minutes. The sugar sloughs away dead skin cells while the coconut oil deep moisturizes the soles of your feet. No need for a separate moisturizer.

6. Wash face morning and night, consistently.

Maintenance is key. No matter what, make sure you wash your face morning and especially at night. No matter how tired you are, take those few steps to the sink and wash your face. As simple as this regimen is, it keeps your skin fresh and clean and you'll steer clear of acne and blackheads. Also avoiding the need to buy specialized beauty products to target these problems.

7. Buy multi purpose products.

My main faves are coconut oil, honey and olive oil. Besides their obvious use in the kitchen, they're my trifecta for different DIY treatments. Containing nature's best nutrients, they can be used for the hair, face, body, hands and feet. My recent addition/obsession, matcha (powdered green tea), might be a splurge but it's packed with antioxidants and it lasts you for a long time, I couldn't resist. You can drink it, cook/bake with it and mix it with any of the three for DIY masks and scrubs.

8. Use the hubby for a massage.

Forget paying $60 for having a strangers hand on your body. Spend some sweet time with your husband and have him give you a full body or a foot massage. Again, that coconut oil comes in handy. A few drops of lavender essential oil and you're set. And who knows? He might get something after in return.

9. You are what you eat.

Simply put, your diet affects your complexion. Constantly eating deep fried stuff doesn't do you any good. Some of the best foods for clear, supple skin include olive oil, tomatoes, dark chocolate, oatmeal, green tea, kale, rosemary, almond milk, water, yellow bell peppers, eggs, pumpkin, red wine and carrots.

10. The 2-ingredient teeth whitening.

Mix a teaspoon of hydrogen peroxide with a teaspoon of baking soda to make a runny paste and use this to brush your teeth making sure to reach those back teeth too. This combination is both anti-bacterial and a great teeth whitener and costs less than a tenth of those whitening strips.

This is just to get you started. There are many other beauty hacks that get the job done and cost little to nothing. Which one will you try first?

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