Monday, 17 November 2014

Cheap and Cheerful Beauty Tricks

In the run-up to the impending party season and with the weather fairly miserable, we all need to feel the sparkle when it comes to our skin and beauty state. While magazines and advertisements will be trying to pedal you all sorts of "must-haves" to ensure you're looking your best, I've compiled a list of my favourite beauty tips that not only work, but are as cheap as chips.

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Mucho Love,

Vicky



The Best Deep Cleanser

Ponds Cold Cream


 
An oldie but a goodie, this bargain find can do the heavy lifting of your cleansing routine, if you use it the right way.
 
A 50ml offering retails in Boots for 5.99 but I recently picked up one in my local pharmacy for around the 3.50 mark, so it's worth checking your local one to see if they stock it. Either way, once you've gotten your mitts on it, here's how to get ALL your make-up (yes, including double coats of mascara) off in a jiffy:
 
1. Smear a thin layer of cream all over your face, eyelids included. It's texture is quite thick, so a little goes a long way. There's also a strong smell of roses which can be a bit much for some people, so you have been warned.
2. Leave it on your face for a few minutes. Go brush your teeth or something.
3. Using a face cloth/flannel, soak it in hot water - and I mean hot, as hot as you can stand it. In circular motions, begin removing the cream from your face with the hot cloth.
4. Repeat this until the majority of the cream is gone. Then clean your face with your normal face wash/scrub.
 
The whole process takes under five minutes and your skin feels truly scrubbed after, yet soft. It's a real pity that not more of us under 50 don't use this gem, so I urge you to remedy this immediately.
 
Sparkling Teeth
 
 

Yes, you might be more accustomed to using this stuff to get the best out of your buns rather than your teeth, but I promise you that what I'm about to tell you really works.
 
This tip actually came via Mammy Gloria, so we can thank her for this! You can get some bicarbonate of soda in the baking aisle of your local shop for about 1.50. This stuff works wonders at brightening up the most stained teeth:
 
1. Brush your teeth the way you normally do.
2. Tip enough of the bicarbonate into the lid/some tissue to cover the head of your toothbrush. Wet your brush and dip it into the powder.
3. Brush your teeth for another minute, just the way you would if you were using toothpaste. Spit and rinse.
 
There's no taste to the powder and the texture actually isn't strange at all when you're using it. I'm a coffee/nicotine addict and since I've started doing this in the mornings after I brush my teeth, I've really noticed the difference. Given that bicarbonate of soda is an active ingredient in a lot of whitening toothpastes, it makes a lot of sense to go directly to the source. Much cheaper than a professional polish!
 
Hair Powder
You know those mornings when your hair is flatter than Paris Hilton doing karaoke and you know you're going to resort to the 'Ballymun Facelift' (severe topknot) instead of trying to do something with your hair? Well, hair powder is about to become your new alternative.
 
There's many versions of it available and some of them can get really expensive. But this Schwarzkopf one is only 5.79. If you want to add some instant volume, freshness and texture to your hair, do the following:
 
1. Distribute two shakes of the powder into your open palm. The powder is the texture of sticky talcum powder so make sure that your hands are dry.
2. Rub your palms together and then rub them into/through your scalp and roots. The best way I can describe to do this is by giving yourself a 30 second head massage. You want to get right into the roots and create a little heat while you're doing it. Feel free to scrunch, twist, do whatever you want.
4. Viola - you just got a mini-head massage and you will instantly see the difference to your hair.
 
When it comes to keeping it that way for the day, you have two options - the occasional scrunch/tousle of your hair will reignite volume or alternatively, you can spritz a little bit of hairspray on the underside and top of your roots after you've applied the powder.
 
Another great way to use this stuff is by putting it in before you go to bed. The body heat and friction you generate as you sleep (or if you're like me, toss and turn for a few hours) really helps crank up the volume and it is the easiest and best way I've discovered of getting minimal effort bed-head. The only downside about this stuff is your hair does feel sticky after having it on for a day and to get rid of it, you'll really need to wash your hair rather than trying to brush it out like hairspray. But apart from that, godsend.
 
Cleansing Shampoo
 
 
Over the last few months, I've really gotten into going to the gym (this is not me boasting/being smug, I swear!). But as any exercise addict knows, you work up quite a sweat after an hour's session. For girls, this can be a bit of a problem when it comes to maintaining the good condition of your hair. You want to feel like you've thoroughly cleansed away all the sweat, etc, but you don't want to dry the feck out of your follicles I've tried numerous cleansing shampoos over the years - I must the confess, I love the swishy feeling when your hair is squeaky. And none of the more expensive brands do the job half as well for a fraction of the price than Alberto Balsam.
 
Their whole range is incredibly good value (seriously, 1.50 for a shampoo/conditioner!?) but it's their apple shampoo that deserves special attention. It smells yummy and it really cleans your hair without drying it out. It's always in my gym bag these days. I like to follow up with their blueberry conditioner after, but the choice is yours.
 
 
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