Beautiful and Broke

It’s no secret: The economy sucks! Instead of dinner and movie, we’re treating ourselves to dinner OR a movie. Many of us are opting to walk and ride bicycles rather than drive. Trips to the grocery store produces three to five bags worth of groceries instead of the usual ten. Jay-Z’s “Hard Knock Life” debuted ten years too early. It’s no longer just a “Ghetto Anthem”; it’s now the American anthem.

Despite the hard fiscal times, ladies still have an image to upkeep. If you are secure in your finances, then you can carry on prettily as usual. However, if money is tighter than a cramped muscle, you don’t have to let it crimp your style. Here are four easy ways to stay beautiful on a budget.

It’s the middle of summer and ladies do love to rock their sandals. If you are anything like me, your seven-foot high, six row wide stacked shoe collection has been protected over the winter in plastic Polaroid-labeled shoeboxes and shall not go unnoticed. It would be a crime to deprive society of your shoe game! Sadly, wearing sandals often cause sweaty, stinky feet. Smelly feet is not cute, I don’t care how many points you score with your Louboutins.

PROSPEROUS & PRETTY: If you got it like that, then indulge yourself by soaking your feet in Lavender French Oil. $41.00 will buy you an 8 oz worth of this sweet smelling concoction. You can find Lavender French Oil and other aromatics at www.aromaessentialsltd.com.

BEAUTIFUL & BROKE: If the only money in your pocket is the kind that jingles, then put your shoes on, walk to your local drug store and pick up a box of Arm & Hammer Baking Soda. Soaking your feet in baking soda will restore your skin’s PH levels leaving your feet smelling fresh.

Running errands in this hot weather is guaranteed to make most of us work up a nasty sweat. Sweat may be sexy, but it is by no means succulent. We now know how to freshen our feet, but we must not neglect the rest of our body’s aroma. It’s simple: Take a bath.

PROSPEROUS & PRETTY: If you got money in the bank and asking “shawties” what they “drank”, then you can splurge on Perlier skin care and let the “shawties” drink your bathwater. For over 75 years, Perlier has delivered specially manufactured bath products derived from active ingredients of medicinal plants. Many of their products smell so good that you’ll want to bathe until your water turns ice cold. www.perlier.com

BEAUTIFUL & BROKE: If you can barely make this month’s water bill to fill the tub, then bathe in Demiers 5% Apple Cider Vinegar. A 32 oz is available for a thrifty $3.89 at www.americanspice.com. The really good news is that apple cider vinegar reduces the likelihood of getting a yeast infection, which are often caused by many sweet smelling bath products. So you get to save some cash and save the goodies!

Heat rash, poison ivy, the man sitting next to you on the bus picking his nose: all of these things make you itch. If you got an itch, scratch it, right? Wrong, you don’t want to run the risk of getting scars. Try again.

PROSPEROUS & PRETTY: If you can afford to take a bath with lavish products, then you can afford to treat your skin ailments with Aveeno products, which first premiered in 1945 with its colloidal oatmeal formulations. One 3.5 oz pack will run you $2.79. www.dermadoctor.com

BEAUTIFUL & BROKE: If you cannot even afford a dictionary to look up the word “colloidal”, then Quaker Oatmeal is the perfect anti-itch solution for you. It can be purchased at grocery stores nationwide for an average of $3.50 per box, which offers twelve 1oz packages.

It’s the weekend, and you’re getting ready for the plethora of pool parties and barbeques you’ve been invited to. Is so hard being popular, so you must freshen yourself to maintain your presentation. Fresh coat of nail polish: Check. Shaved legs: Check. Eyebrows newly waxed: Check. WHOA! Check your eyebrows again. Did your so-called “wax specialist” take a little bit too much off? Now you’ve got to walk around looking like Marion Cotillard in La Vie en Rose. A temporary fix is to pencil those babies in until we figure out how to grow our precious brows back!

PROSPEROUS & PRETTY: You reach into your Gustto bag and pull out your plastic and charge Anastasia of Beverly Hills’ Brow Enhancing Serum. For $35 dollars, this gel is filled with proteins and vitamins formulated to condition, repair and restore the eyebrows. In the meantime, you might as well add the Brow Ex-press kit for a mere $38.00 that comes complete with brow power, wax cream, cream highlighter, brush and stencils. www.sephora.com

BEAUTIFUL & BROKE: You reach into your recycled plastic shopping bag and pull out a five-dollar bill and buy castor oil. Castor oil is the ultimate fix for scraggly eyebrows. After reciting a silent oath to never let another person touch your eyebrows, you can take a Q-Tip; swab castor oil over your brows and smile. In less than a week you will see the hair grow faster than the Chia Pet you gave Granny for Christmas. For $2.99 you can’t stay mad at your “wax specialist” for long. www.walgreens.com

Whether you’re able to live above your means or if you struggle to barely get by, with these easy and inexpensive alternatives you can remain beautiful. You may have to put forth some cash to maintain your aesthetic appearance, but it’s the inner beauty that will win the hearts of your peers. And that is free.

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0 Comments

  • A. Fox

    Reply Reply July 22, 2008

    interesting. I like the comparisons! :o)

  • michelle

    Reply Reply July 24, 2008

    loved it…good idea…a beautiful and broke sistah like myself will definitely look into some of these suggestions ๐Ÿ™‚

  • carla

    Reply Reply July 28, 2008

    i agree with a. fox….interesting….however, you did not address our hair issues. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Leah Patterson

    Reply Reply July 30, 2008

    I agree as well – the comparisons are great! I used to teach classes in holistic skin care and beauty – the thing that I loved the most about it is that it’s *inexpensive* luxurious beauty – best of all worlds;).

    There’s a ton of amazing natural beauty recipes for hair too – one of these days I should get an ebook together of my favorites – hmmm, project, LOL!

    ~Leah Patterson
    http://www.etniqminerals.com

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