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Archive for the ‘Miscellaneous’ Category

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1. Volumizing Sea Spray

On those all-too-frequent days I can’t get to the beach, I use this hair spray for lots of lift and a breezy scent. You could pay as much as $26 per bottle, but these replacement options will keep you volumized for mere pennies per ounce.

The main components of a great texturizer are salt for volume, a softener to counteract the salt’s drying effect and something to make it smell great!

Combine a cup of hot water with a tablespoon or so of coarse salt — sea salt or Epsom salts work great. The more salt, the beachier the look. Add in aloe, some conditioner you already have or maybe some of the water-based gel in your cabinet to add softness and hold.

After it cools, add a few (optional!) drops of essential oil and pour into your spray bottle. Bend over your sink and spray liberally on damp or dry hair at the roots. Shake, scrunch, flip and otherwise adore your instant big, sexy, beach-day look! 

Off-the-shelf cost: $14.99 for 6 ounces.

DIY cost: $1 per bottle at most, and your first batch of ingredients will last forever.

2. Dry Shampoo

When your day is too full of responsibilities

excitement for a full shampoo and conditioning, you reach for dry shampoo for a grease-free look that won’t strip your hair’s natural oils — but there’s no need to strip your wallet, either.

Dry shampoo dispenses greasiness with an oil-absorbing powder that disappears in your hair. Depending on your hair color and what’s on your shelves, you can try cornstarch, fine arrowroot flour, baby powder or even unsweetened cocoa powder (my personal fave, though I’m a pretty dark brunette and a total chocoholic). Apply to your roots and comb through until the product disappears.

Not into smelling like chocolate cake or a baby’s bottom? I like to comb in a drop or two of that essential oil I use in my sea salt spray for scrumptious-smelling hair. 

Off-the-shelf cost: $23 for 3.5 ounces of a fancy kind, or $6.99 for 3.4 ounces of a drugstore brand.

DIY cost: You probably already have these items in your pantry. Otherwise, maybe a couple of bucks at your grocery store’s bulk bin.

3. Exfoliating Salt or Sugar Scrub for Hands and Body

This product is pretty much just sugar or salt, oil and something that smells good. Go ahead and raid your pantry and grab that essential oil.

Plus, you can choose between a micro-exfoliating granulated sugar scrub or a macro-exfoliating coarse sea salt scrub, experiment with white or brown sugars, coconut or olive or almond oil… the possibilities are endless. 

Off-the-shelf cost: $16.50 for 8 ounces at Bath and Body Works, but I’ve seen these bad boys go for $40 for 8.2 ounces from premium dealers. No way!

DIY cost: About $3 per batch, depending on the type of oil you choosenull

4. Body or Face Lotion

You can make a fabulous body lotion by simply adding a few drops of lavender or tea tree oil to the coconut oil you’re already using.

Or, experiment with shea butter-based lotions and try other nourishing oils, like avocado or jojoba. Depending on how much you trust your face, you could try a gentle mixture — I’m pretty oily, though, so I’d proceed with caution!

Off-the-shelf cost: Amazon lists a 12-ounce Aveeno lotion for $5.93, which is pretty standard for drugstore body lotion. Facial skincare products are hugely variable and can be quite expensive, like $32.76 for 2 ounces.

DIY cost: About $3 to $5 per batch

5. Facial Toner

Check out the ingredient list on that refreshing spritz you use before your moisturizer or in the middle of the day — it’s pretty much a bottle of watery perfume!

By experimenting with tea, rose water or witch hazel, you slash costs and get to figure out what works best for your skin on the cheap. If you’re starting to amass those essential oils I keep mentioning from all this DIY, check out some of these skin-type-specific recipes

I like using a cotton pad to apply my toner, but you could grab another spray bottle if you enjoy the spritz effect.

Off-the-shelf cost: $45 for 8.4 ounces is not unheard of, though you can find drugstore options for less than $8 for around the same size.

DIY cost: Depends on your ingredients, but could cost pennies or up to $4 per

6. Face Masks

Whether your skin is dry, oily or a combination — and even if you’re dealing with acne well after high school — you can try tons of at-home treatments. Raid your kitchen for apple cider vinegar, honey and egg whites. How about avocado and cocoa powder

The good news is, not only do you already have these ingredients on your grocery list, but you can try a variety of treatments without breaking the bank. My oily summer skin loves apple cider vinegar, but milk and honey feels decadent before bed!

Off-the-shelf cost: A 1-ounce charcoal mask from Sephora costs $13.00, but who knows which one’s right for you?

DIY cost: From pennies to $5 per mask, depending on the ingredients you choose

Although a few of these recipes require some initial investments like essential oils, glass containers, spray bottles or shea butter, you’ll be left with ingredients to keep making personalized beauty products for a year or longer — and with extra cash in your pocket.

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While planning your day of indulgence, don’t forget to design your own relaxation grotto. Give your bathroom a deep clean and then:

  1. Splurge on a soft, thick towel.
  2. Pick up some pretty containers from the dollar store to hold all the scrubs and potions you make.
  3. Treat yourself to a fluffy bathrobe to wear while relaxing.
  4. Get some inexpensive candles to create ambience during bath time — or make your own.
  5. Set a plant or vase of flowers in the bathroom, because greenery makes everything better.
  6. Cover your bathroom window with frosted contact paper to diffuse bright sunlight that might harsh your mellow.
  7. Put a few sprigs of eucalyptus on the corner of the bathtub to create a clean, refreshing scent when you run the hot water.
  8. Buy a bathtub overflow drain cover so you can fill the tub extra deep and soak all the way up to your chin.
  9. Queue up this chill Spotify playlist.
  10. Use the cucumber you bought for your eyes to make some cucumber and lemon-infused water to sip as you spa

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Here are some of our favorite ways to pamper ourselves at home.

1. Everything you’ve heard about coconut oil is true. Skip the expensive body lotion and the deep conditioner and use this low-cost alternative instead.

Cost: jar of coconut oil costs about $7 and will last for months.

2. Apply an avocado or egg mask to your hair at the beginning of your spa routine, then wrap your head in a warm towel. Let it work its magic for at least 20 minutes.

Cost: One egg will set you back 10 cents, and an avocado is between $1 and $1.50.

3. Korean sheet masks, cotton-based sheets that address various skin care issues, make your skin look amazing, but they can be awfully pricy. I picked up a handful at my local dollar store for a buck each and discovered they work just as well as the expensive brands. If you buy in bulk, you can save even more.

Cost: Sheet masks can be found online or in dollar stores for as little as $1.

4. Speaking of masks, if you use Lush cosmetics or know someone who does, hang onto those little black pots and bottles the products come in. You’ll score a free face mask when you turn in five clean empties. That’s a savings of at least $9.95!

Cost: The cost of the five products.

5. Clear up blemishes and reduce fine lines with a container of plain yogurt! Whether you use it alone or jazz it up with extras like a dash of honey or oatmeal, your pores will thank you.

Cost: A small container of plain yogurt can cost anywhere from 60 cents to $1.

6. After rinsing off the mask, I like to give myself a five-minute face massage. It’s surprisingly relaxing.

Cost: Totally free!

7. Give yourself a lip scrub to slough off dead skin. Your lips will feel pillowy soft and refreshed.

Cost: The basic ingredients — olive oil and sugar — are probably in your kitchen. So are the add-ons you can use to spice it up, like cinnamon, brown sugar and coffee.

8. This homemade sugar scrub is both luxurious and exfoliating. Add your favorite essential oil, such as eucalyptus, to slough off dry, dead skin, leaving behind a tingly clean that smells luxurious.

Cost: Less than $1 worth of sugar, coconut oil and salt, plus around $10 for eucalyptus essential oil.

9. For a change of pace, I like to mix things up and exfoliate my skin with this three-ingredient coffee body scrub that you can make with the used coffee grounds left over from your morning brew. It reportedly also reduces the appearance of cellulite.

Cost: Free, if you’re a coffee drinker.

10. Sometimes my skin just isn’t up for a harsh scrub down. That’s when I turn to a recipe like this one from WholeElise on YouTube. Rather than abrasive salt or sugar, this scrub uses oats, water and glycerine (or honey).

Cost: About $3.50 for the oats  (free if you already have them in your pantry and $5.50 for the glycerine.

11. If you plan to shave during your spa time, try dry brushing first to prevent ingrown hairs and razor-burn bumps. It’s also great for keeping your skin smooth in the harsh winter months.

Cost: A good dry brush costs around $7.50

12. Give your hands some love. This lemon-sugar scrub is easy to make, smells amazing and is perfect for making your hands silky soft. After you rinse it off, slather on some hand lotion and take a minute to admire your, er, handiwork.

Cost: A lemon is about 50 cents, and you probably already have sugar and oil in your pantry

13. Do you know why every movie spa scene depicts someone with cucumber slices on their eyes? Because they work! You can use the leftovers for cucumber-infused water to really amp up that luxe “I’m in a spa” feeling.

Cost: About $1 for a cucumber.

14. Treat your feet to a nice soak with whatever gentle bath wash you have on hand. Follow it up with a homemade foot scrub. Simply stir one part coconut oil into two parts sugar and scent with a few drops of essential oil. A dash of lemon juice adds extra oomph. To kick (ha!) things up a notch, slather on some lotion and cover your tootsies with thick socks while the moisturizer works its magic.

Cost: Peppermint essential oil costs about $8, or you can use eucalyptus oil if you have it on hand. The rest of the ingredients are likely in your pantry.

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