I will not go gently into that good night.
I’m vain, I admit it. I prefer looking good over feeling good, and form over function. As such, you might expect that I am one of those women who always looks perfectly groomed, with polished nails, an admirable complexion I owe to regular facials, and the best sun screen money can buy...big sigh, I wish. No, that’s not me.
It’s been more than 6 weeks since my last pedicure, my “second day hair” sometimes turns into “third day hair” and my left eye brow has finally grown back after I accidentally waxed a chunk of it off (oops).
Maybe that explains why my favorite issue of people Magazine is the one where they show all the stars without make-up. Yes, I DO feel better when I see my idols looking worse than me sans make-up and hair extensions. I like to look good, I just don’t want to spend the time, money or energy that it takes to do it right. Besides, I’m all thumbs. I don’t have the small motor control necessary to apply a thin line of liquid eyeliner or use a flat-iron for that matter.
All of this helps to explain my criteria for ridiculously cheap and easy beauty tips with immediate results:
- Cheap $10-$25, or borrowed for free.
- Fast and Easy 2-5 minutes, 10 max, and requires no talent or experience. Clearly the at home brow waxing kit did not meet this criteria.
- IMMEDIATE, Noticeable Results If not, why bother?
Erase Fine Lines and Wrinkles Around Your Eyes, Lips, and Forehead
A few years ago, with my 30 year class reunion speeding toward me like a freight train, I was watching a lot of infomercials for miracle beauty makeovers, like the one for a miracle line filler Cindy Crawford was “so thrilled with” she had to “share it with the world”. I was really tempted to “call now”, but the price tag didn’t meet my “cheap” criteria, so I decided to investigate drug store alternatives. Thanks, but no thanks, Cindy. Don’t get me wrong, you look amazing, but how about a hair cut for your son?
I headed over to Target and sure enough, there was an amazing inventory to choose from. I could have spent an entire day there, but my 6 and 7-year-old kids, who were raging a full-scale battle in the aisle while I pretended not to know who they belonged to, blew my cover when they started to call me mom (don’t you hate it when that happens?). So I grabbed the one with the name I liked the best, The Fill Monty. It was a crap shoot, but I am happy to report, it held up against all my criteria.
√ Cheap. It was on sale, of course, so I paid only 13 dollars. If you don’t find it on sale, you’ll pay a whopping 22.00. Towards to top end of my threshold, but let’’s be honest, if you leave it in the bathroom at work or gift it to a friend on-the-spot (like I did), you can replace it without breaking the bank.
√ Fast & Easy. I tore open the package in the car, and applied it around my eyes with the tip of my finger using my rear view mirror, while the battle between my kids raged on in the back seat. It goes on right over your makeup or moisturizer if you are going au-natural.You can’t screw up. The worst that will happen is you erase more lines and flaws than you meant to, gasp!
√ Immediate, noticeable results. “Guaranteed to reduce the appear of fine lines and wrinkles is just 6 weeks”. How am I suppose to get excited about that? I’m hard pressed to wait 60 seconds, let alone 6 weeks. The Fill Monty delivered on it’s promise before my fingertip made it back to the jar for another dip! “How does it work”, you ask? In the words of Soap and Glory, “It works like a cinematic lens to blur and reduce the appearance of fine lines from the outside in.” In other words, it’s make-up. It’s not going to reverse the aging process, but it IS going to make you look great and hence feel great, NOW.
BONUS Beauty Tip : You can reapply it as often as you like during the day and evening. I have used it around my lips, on my forehead creases and my neck!
Bare Legs? You Bet!
By now you’ve guessed that I am no spring chicken, but this ridiculously cheap and easy beauty trick is one that spans generations. That’s right, you 20 something's, it’s never too soon to start hyper focusing on your slightest imperfections!
I was wearing a dress to the reunion. In fact, I actually took my High School prom dress to a seamstress and had it “up dated” for the occasion…but that’s a whole other story. The hem line fell right above my knees, which meant my thighs would be out of sight, but my chins and calves would not. The skin on my lower legs was a little “translucent” with bruises that varied in size and color, and spider veins that ran from behind my knees down to mid calf in places. But, I wasn’t worried and I WASN’T going to wear pantyhose! But I was going to use a healthy application of my favorite Cheap trick, Sally Hansen Airbrush Legs. Let’s go to the criteria…
√ Cheap. $6.93. Need I say more? you will find similar products that cost upwards of 70 and 80 bucks. Start low. If you don't like it, you can always spend more money.
√ Fast and Easy. The can says to spray it in your hands, then apply it to your legs like you would lotion, which works fine and can be done any time of day or night. I think it’s faster to lay a towel on the floor of the bathroom and spray a few stripes on my leg, then put a few pumps of lotion in my hands and spread it around while I moisturizer my legs.
√ Immediate results; You will be amazed. The effect is so dramatic you will want to wear shorts and skirts all year-long! The day of the reunion two of my girlfriends showed up in nylons, even after I told them about my ridiculously cheap and easy trick. Both claimed THEIR legs were way worse than mine. I convinced them they had nothing to lose and everything to gain. Nothing shouts “pushing 50” louder than pantyhose in the summer. Off came the nylons, out came the Sally Hansen and up went their self-esteem, not to mention their fashion quotient. (That's me with my perfect Sally Hansen Airbrushed legs, arms and chest wearing my old prom dress, it's a Gunny Sack by Jessica McLintock, 1979).
♦ Bonus Beauty Tip: If you have any body scrub lying around from an old gift basket, use it in the shower to exfoliate your legs before you airbrush your legs. I can’t say I have seen a big difference in the final appearance of my legs, which is a good thing, due to the added time and effort. But it makes me feel “grown up and pampered” and shedding a dull dead layer of skin cells can only be a good thing, right?
♦♦ Double Bonus Beauty Tip: Buy Sally Hansen Airbrush legs if a variety of shades to match your skin tone all year around. Share it with your friends and try it on other visible limbs. I have used it on my arms and chest, my upper back, pretty much all over. If you overdo it, simply wipe yourself down with a damp wash cloth until you reach the shade and coverage you desire, then reapply your moisturizer you are done!
30 second Fix For Limp, Lifeless Hair
This one will seem just to good to be true, but it works. Change the part in your hair. I learned this by accident. I typically style my bangs sweeping left to right. I have very curly hair thanks to my Italian/Sicilian heritage, but it is also very fine (code for frizzy), so I blow it straight most days. I’ve gotten pretty good at adding just the right amount of height with a little back combing and some hairspray, but some days it just will not cooperate and lays flat to my head.
One day out of desperation I decided I would try flipping my bangs over to the other side of my head, adding hairspray to my roots, and a little heat from the blow dryer and then flip them back to create some “lift”. Half way through the process, with my bangs now swept right-to-left, I could not believe my eyes. My hair looked awesome! I got compliments all day from people and every time I went to the ladies room or spotted myself in the mirror I felt great. So, here’s the drill, if you usually part in the middle, swap it for a deep side part. If you always do an off-center part, try a center one instead. Changing your part will change the way your hair lies on your head, giving you the lift you need in your appearance and your spirits.
√ √√It’s Cheap-free, Fast and Easy, and the results are both Noticeable AND Immediate.