Have you ever walked into a beauty specialty store “just browsing” and somehow walked out $65 poorer? You go in for a facial cleanser, and leave with a plethora of items that satisfies the promotion of the day. This happens to the best of us. Years after working in one of these retail environments, I have retained mental images of surprised reactions on customer’s faces after communicating the total in their shopping bag. Your beauty routine shouldn’t break the bank. I bet you there is an item you already have on hand that can be used to replace that $13 bottle of facial cleanser.
If you are even as slightly clumsy as me, I am sure you have broken your favorite bronzer in the middle of your makeup routine, or accidentally smashed your favorite bottle of perfume right before a big night. It happens. These seven single-ingredient household items can be used in your daily beauty routine in a pinch, or used extensively in order to save you some cash. Either way, let’s get down to these not-so-secret beauty secrets.
1. Bronzer/Eyebrow Pencil: I have not purchased a traditional bronzer in over a year. I use cocoa powder instead! Yes, you will smell slightly chocolate-y. Fun fact: cocoa powder is high in magnesium, which is an essential nutrient that many of us do not get enough of. Like soaking in Epsom salts, using cocoa powder on your skin and hair — in addition to your homemade brownies — has the potential to increase the level of this nutrient in your body. Magnesium helps to maintain energy levels, ward off anxiety, and is great for your digestive system. I usually keep a small jar of this in my makeup bag (small loose-leaf tea sample pots work great). I dip my makeup brush in the jar and tap off the excess. Trust me, a little goes a long way! I could not stress that enough. In my experience, the application is fairly mess-free, too. I also like to use cocoa powder on my eyebrows as well. Using a mascara wand or an eyebrow spool, I dip the wand right in the powder and apply to my eyebrows. If you have darker brows, this may not work as well.
2. Facial Cleanser: Recently I have been loving using honey — yes, the stuff you would put on toast — as a facial cleanser. I first heard about this well before I had adopted it into my routine. Once my kitchen honey started to harden, I thought I would give it a try. I personally like the slight grittiness of the hardened honey, although using the pure liquid form would work as well. Honey offers antibacterial properties, which is great for blemish-prone skin types.
3. Facial Exfoliator: Add some baking soda to your pure honey facial cleanser — or any cleanser for that matter — and bam! You have yourself an exfoliant. I usually just sprinkle a little of baking soda into my hand before adding the honey. I was skeptical of this at first, but it leaves your skin smooth and ready for that makeup application. Keep some baking soda under your sink for easy access if using on a regular basis.
4. Makeup Remover/Body Moisturizer: I couldn’t finish this list without mentioning the infamous coconut oil. I will never ever buy store-bought makeup remover again. I was a frequent fan of the drug store oil-based makeup remover in high school, although now cannot fathom spending the $7 CAD ($5.50 USD) on it. After wetting a cotton swab, use it to grab a little bit of coconut oil and use as normal. If you have yet to make the switch, do it! You will not regret this. Coconut oil also works great for a body moisturizer for all seasons. It absorbs quickly and leaves you smelling great. Although it did not work for me personally, coconut oil could be used as a facial moisturizer as well.
5. Dry Shampoo: Up until six months ago, I had been a loyal fan of an aerosol-based dry shampoo from the drugstore. With the planet and my scalp in mind, I searched for an easy alternative without the chemicals. The alternative? Cornstarch and essential oil. I simply put some cornstarch in a jar small enough to fit in my medicine cabinet, with a couple drops of tea tree oil for some added odor-fighting power. In order to avoid getting white spots all over your clothes, I would suggest using this dry shampoo alternative before getting dressed for the day. Just grab a little with your fingers and work through your hair, combing your hair afterward to blend in any excess. Alternatively — and a less messy way of application — try grabbing a little bit of the product with a makeup brush and directly apply to your hair.
6. Traditional Shampoo: You may or may not have castile soap at home. If you don’t, I would highly recommend purchasing some. Use it as a shampoo and body wash. It can also be used as a shampoo for your dog (I would suggest a peppermint-scented one to warn off fleas). I also have used this as a laundry detergent in a pinch, and it works great!
7. Perfume: Essential oils can be used for a lot of things. If you have some laying around, whether it be lavender essential oil (my favorite), rose oil, or tea tree, they make for great perfumes. There are various forms of jewelry out there allowing you to savor your favorite scent with lava rocks. If using solely the oil itself, dilute a small amount of the essential oil in a carrier oil, then place a couple drops inside on the inside of your wrists or neck.
These not-so-secret beauty secrets may come in handy If you’re like me and have vouched for a healthier relationship with your finances in 2018. These swaps have been tried and tested by me, along with the small number of people I have shared these with. As we all have varying preferences, these may not work for you, but I urge you to try them out!
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